Young Engineers Compete in NSWC-PCD's 'Director's Cup' Challenge

Three Teams Compete in Naval Surface Warfare Center PC Challenge


Engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division, put their technical skills to the test.

On Friday three teams competed in this year's second 'Director's Cup' competition.

The first one was in 2015.

Technical Director Ed Stewart said this year were a new set of challenges.

"Last time we were in the water, this time we were in the ground as you can see," said Stewart.

However, the mission is easier said than done.

"The objective is to try to find mines that are hidden in the ground and in the sand, and detect them, then ultimately neutralize them," said Stewart.

These robots took six months of concept planning, sketching, and two rounds of prototypes.

Friday was the big finale.

Professional Technical Advisor Lanshava Booker was part of that process.

"I was always surprised by the innovation but typically with engineers, if you give them a problem, and everyone is given the same problem set and you bound them with what you could consider, they come up with similar ideas which is what you saw," said Booker.

Some of the robots' capabilities could be given to the fleet.

"There's a huge mission advantage to what we're doing here, and at the same time it's a great development opportunity for our young scientists and engineers to get some hands-on engineering experience," said Stewart.

Scientist Jim Perkins was a helper in last year's challenge, and he agrees.

"Our hope is that with these games we can create technology that can help with our mission to find things like roadside bombs, or different dangerous things that are in our environment," said Perkins.

This year's winners  with the most points were 'The Badgers'.

They built two robots.

According to the NSWC-PCD public affairs, the director for the Naval Surface Warfare Center headquartered in Washington D.C. was impressed and approves of more competitions like these in the future.

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