Aquaticus

What is Aquaticus? Aquaticus is a project with the goal of developing a competition where humans and robots compete together against similarly configured teams of humans and robots. The competition is conducted on the water in about a one square kilometer area off the MIT Sailing Pavilion. Students are responsible for designing and building the autonomy algorithms driving their robots and competing alongside their robots, in a suspenseful and challenging competition with their peers.

Research objectives: This research aims to explore a relatively poorly understood intersection of two well known areas of robotic systems research: the (embedded) human-robot interface and multi- robot zero-sum competitions. The intersection is created by embedding humans alongside robots, as equal teammates, on a playing field competing against a similarly configured team. Autonomy algorithm design and human robot communications will be re-considered from the perspective of the situated human who will be dealing with stress, uncertainty and pressures of performing their own role in the competition, in coordination with their robot teammates.

The Playing Field: The area just off the main docks at the MIT Sailing Pavilion is the intended area for competitions. This area is shown below with a rough buoy outline and three unmanned surface vehicles. The area is 160x80 meters. The flag is a small buoy deployed about 20 meters away from the end of each zone.