Autonomous ocean climate observer receives third place at 2014 Cornell Cup USA

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A team of Penn State computer science and engineering students won third place at the 2014 Cornell Cup USA on May 2 to 4 at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Presented by Intel, the embedded design competition challenges student teams from universities across the United States to develop innovative prototypes that address real-world issues.

The team, dubbed Team Submersibles, took third place and won $2,500. Team Submersibles also won the $1,000 Data Analytics Award, which was new to the competition this year.

This year's competition featured 30 teams. Students dedicated six months to this project — from conception and design to construction. Throughout the process, teams received input from Intel technical leaders.

The team's project was an autonomous ocean climate observer (AUTOCO), a new system for conducting oceanic studies. AUTOCOs are a system of low-cost machines packed with an array of sensors and designed to drift with the ocean currents and deliver real-time data to a centralized computer.

The real-time data is then queried and cross-referenced with astronomical or human-caused events as well as weather conditions. This data could then be obtained freely via an application program interface, aiding scientists and researchers around the world in their study of the ocean and climate changes.

Team Submersibles' members include David Schor, Peng Xiao, Brandon Buckley, Ngan Vo and Tyler Pilato.

Kyusun Choi, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, and the team's faculty adviser, said, "This was our first time as a finalist at the Cornell Cup and the students did a great job putting together the project prototypes and programming to demonstrate the real life problem solution."

Last Updated June 12, 2014