The Caltech Robotics team recently won the 19th International AUVSI/ONR RoboSub Competition in San Diego, Calif. Among the team members are Indian American Kushal Agarwal, who leads the programming team. (Caltech photo)

The Caltech Robotics Team bested the entire field of international competition at the 19th International AUVSI/ONR RoboSub Competition in San Diego, Calif.

At the competition, which took place from July 25 through July 31 at the SSC Pacific TRANSDEC, Caltech’s team of 35 undergraduate students — including Indian American Kushal Agarwal — and faculty adviser, professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering Joel Burdick, won the top prize of $6,000 by outperforming 45 other competitors.

IIT Bombay’s robotics team finished second in the competition, earning a $5,000 prize.

The competition challenges the teams to put together student-designed-and-built autonomous robotic submarines that must complete a difficult series of visual- and acoustic-based tasks, which include simulating the work required of robotic subs in many facets of underwater activity.

In 2015, the Caltech Robotics Team came in fourth at the 18th International AUVSI/ONR RoboSub Competition, among a field of 37 international teams.

Caltech first competed in the RoboSub competition in 2014, taking seventh place in the 37-team field. During the 2014 competition, Caltech won the “Best New Entry” award.

Prior to participating in the RoboSub competitions, the Caltech team competed in other similar competitions with some success. In 2012, the team took second in the RASC-AL Exploration Robo-Ops Competition.

The Caltech team is made up of four segments, the mechanical, electrical, programming and fundraising and outreach teams. Agarwal leads the programming team.

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