USC Robotics Society

The USC Robotics Society is an organization dedicated to fostering autonomous robotics learning and involvement at the University of Southern California. Driven by this mission, the organization instills in its members skills and qualities to further academic research and encourage social outreach endeavors. As a competition-oriented unit, the society’s main goal is to build autonomous vehicles that represent the university in annual international competitions. The society is composed of two divisions – an aerial team that works to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and an underwater group that focuses on creating an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

Founded: August, 2002

Philanthropy: Mentorship for high school robotics teams, Partnership with FIRST Robotics

Achievements: 6th of 30 teams, AUVSI Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition July-Aug 2007 and 6th of 27 teams, AUVSI Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Competition July-Aug 2009

Aerial Robotics

USCRS started venturing into aerial vehicles starting in 2009. With the help of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and numerous other sponsors, the organization has broadened its reach and demonstrated USC’s skill and competence in robotics.

The Aerial Robotics Team will participate in its first AUVSI International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) in 2011. After only a single year, the team has designed and built multiple prototype quadrotor helicopters and developed custom electronics and software. Looking towards the future, the Aerial Robotics Team will work hard and fast to prepare for the 2011 IARC.

Underwater robotics

The team will be participating in the AUVSI competition this summer, competing with a revolutionized autonomous underwater vehicle based on the SeaBee III. The new SeaBee’s improvements will primarily occur under its hull although it will also feature a completely redesigned ballast system.

SeaBee’s team designed and created the SeaBee line of autonomous underwater vehicles to be modular. This was key for the team to be able to achieve a flexible and reliable platform on which they could prototype and develop new hardware for different challenges in the competitions. The modularity of SeaBee’s hardware will allow its software team to be one step ahead in developing the tools necessary to perform successfully in competitions.

The team’s ongoing efforts in emphasizing the miniaturization and streamlining of both the electronic and mechanical components have resulted in a more maneuverable and computationally powerful robot.