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The AVORA team from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria consisting of Aarón Martínez, Anil Mahtani, David Morales, Enrique Fernández, Federico Maniscalco, and Luis Sánchez, with Dr. Jorge Cabrera as the supervisor, has come back this week from La Spezia, Italy, after participating in the underwater robotics competition SAUCE´12 (

The winner of this SAUCE edition has been the SONIA team from the École de Technologie Superieure from Montreal, with more than 10 years of experience. The AVORA team, meanwhile, with 5 months of work and starting from scratch, has won the 1st prize in the “Impress the Judges” modality, the 4th prize in economic importance, with a Tele-presence system for the operation of the robot´s vision system. The AVORA team had good scores from the judges due to its complete equipment maintaining a reduced weight and dimensions, furthermore incorporating innovative solutions for different problems. At the next edition, with the necessary support and sponsorships, the team will be ready to fight for the leading positions at the general classification.

All the students, including those that participated but were not able to assist, have been guided by teachers and researchers from the following ULPGC centres and institutes: SIANI, IUMA, IUCTC, IDeTIC, and CTIM.

The Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, PLOCAN, manages, stimulates and sponsors the project with the collaboration of the ULPGC itself under the Campus of International Excellence and the Foundation of the University of Las Palmas, FULP. This project brings for the first time a Canarian team into one of the world most important underwater robotics competition, with teams from Germany, Italy, France, UK and Canada.

In 2006, SAUC-E was created as the reference competition for underwater robotics in Europe. Since 2010, it has been held in La Spezia, at CMRE (Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation). The competition includes static points as well as mission tasks with limited visibility and currents that the CMRE base port offers. PLOCAN has sponsored the competition this year, same as in 2011, with the participation of Darío Sosa as a judge.

AVORA project seeks to promote technological development and research in the field of underwater robotics, investigating new applications. After this step, part of the team, highly motivated after his participation and results in the competition, is involved in the process of creating a highly specialized company.

Besides PLOCAN and ULPGC as principal sponsors, other companies that believed in the project from the beginning and have contributed either economically, with equipment discounts or with their services are: Tirma, Seabotix, Imagenex, Nautilus Oceánica, SolidWorks, Lopacan, Abanico Networks, Mecatrónica Jesús Marrero, Biomecan and ITC (Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias) linked to the ACIISI (Agencia Canaria de Investigación, Innovación y Sociedad de la Información).

This Project has been possible thanks to the collaboration of different institutes at the academia level together with public R&D institutions as well as the private sector, being an example of the high potential that can be reached when they participate the joint forces of a specific field.



More information about the project can be obtained at their official Facebook webpage: