Underwater robotics SeaPerch Challenge underway

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H are hosting the 2021 Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition through Wednesday. Due to the current pandemic, the competition is a virtual event.
The SeaPerch is a remotely-operated submersible built from more than three dozen parts, including PVC pipe, pool noodles, three 12-volt motors and batteries. During the virtual contest, teams submitted an engineering report summarizing their design process and participate in a team interview. Teams also have the opportunity to submit videos showcasing how their SeaPerch navigates through obstacle courses and complete other tasks, such as moving plastic rings from one part of the course and successfully placing them to another part.

Photos: 2020 competition A new addition to the challenge is for teams to present ideas on how to use this technology in a real-world setting. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).The winner of the Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge will advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held virtually June 4-5. Teams will compete in similar events of the state challenge.

“The students participating in the 2021 event and other students throughout Arkansas have displayed an impressive ability to adapt to conditions caused by the current pandemic,” says Rob Roedel, director of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Arkansas’ electric cooperatives are dedicated to improving the quality of life in the communities that we serve. By working with our long-time partner, Arkansas 4-H, we consider programs like SeaPerch to fuel innovation and STEM-based intuitive learning for future leaders.”

To learn more about the SeaPerch initiative, visit seaperch.org.

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