Press Release

RoboNation ‘SeaPerch’ Competition and UMD Robotics Open House on May 13

A large international K-12 underwater robotics competition hosted at the University of Maryland

MEDIA ADVISORY  April 30, 2023

Janelle Curtis, RoboNation

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Join us for the International SeaPerch Challenge and Media Day on Saturday, May 13, 2023 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

WHY:  The University of Maryland (UMD) is the venue for the RoboNation SeaPerch K-12 underwater robotics competition. More than 1,000 students, parents and teachers are expected to attend and compete with their robots in the Eppley Recreation Center’s Aquatic Center on campus in College Park.

WHAT: In the 2023 SeaPerch Challenge, teams design a SeaPerch robot and show off their engineering skills through technical papers and presentations. In the pool, teams navigate their SeaPerch through a series of obstacles inspired by the real world that test maneuverability, control, and utility.  More than 145 teams from 32 U.S. states and six countries have qualified to compete at the challenge.  

SeaPerch is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), a competition, and a community. This keystone program is the first step in the RoboNation STEM to Workforce pipeline engaging students in robotics and autonomous technology. The SeaPerch program guides students on building an underwater robot while supplying educators with the tools and training to help them through the process. SeaPerch reaches over 250,000 students a year.

Maryland Robotics Center Open House. As a bonus, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., the media are invited to stop by the Maryland Robotics Center open house in three of its facilities:

•     The Brin Family Aerial Robotics Lab on the ground floor of the Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering

•     The E.A. Fernandez IDEA (Innovate, Design and Engineer for America) Factory, a new $67 million building with a big robotics focus, just across the street from the Iribe Center

•     The Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, just a short walk from the Aquatic Center where SeaPerch is being held. This one-of-a-kind world class facility is used both to simulate microgravity space environments, and directly test underwater robotics.

WHO:  RoboNation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges. The pathway begins with SeaPerch and includes autonomous vehicle competitions in all domains including the Student UAS (SUAS) competition and RoboSub. SUAS will be hosted June 20–22 with support from the University of Maryland’s UAS Research and Operations Center (UROC) in Southern Maryland at University of Maryland facilities this summer. Last year, RoboSub also was held at University of Maryland facilities.

The nationally recognized UMD Maryland Robotics Center is a highly respected home for robotics education and research. The center has more than 40 participating faculty members from eight academic departments in engineering and computer science.

WHEN: Saturday, May 13, 2023, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advance notification is required; see below


RoboNation SeaPerch Competition

Eppley Recreation Center’s Aquatic Center, 4128 Valley Drive, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

Parking: *Visitor parking is available in the Terrapin Trail Parking Garage.* Please follow this link for additional parking details and this link to an interactive campus map.

Maryland Robotics Center Lab Open House

Brin Family Aerial Robotics Lab, Brendan Iribe Center for Computer Science and Engineering, 8125 Paint Branch Drive, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742

E.A. Fernandez IDEA Factory, 4462 Stadium Dr., College Park, MD 20742

Neutral Buoyancy Research Facility, 4436 Technology Dr., College Park, MD 20742

Parking: Separate permits for lots next to the Iribe Center are available for those wishing to cover the open house activities.

See map here.

REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Use this link to register your organization’s interest in attending and covering the event.

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About RoboNation

RoboNation is a 501c3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a pathway of hands-on educational experiences that empower students to find innovative solutions to global challenges.  Working together with the industry, research and educators, we have grown to include over nine student competitions and programs and engage more than 250,000 students per year. We envision a world where technology unites people to learn, share, and create.

About the Maryland Robotics Center

The Maryland Robotics Center is housed in the Institute for Systems Research within the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The center advances robotic systems, underlying component technologies, and applications of robotics through interdisciplinary, systems-oriented research and educational programs. The center has more than 30 affiliated labs and 40 participating faculty members from eight academic departments. Research includes autonomous systems, bio-inspired robotics, cognitive robotics, extreme robotics, human-robot interaction, medical robotics, miniature robotics, and multi-robot systems. Educational programs include Master of Engineering and Graduate Certificate programs in robotics and the Robotics and Autonomous Systems undergraduate minor.

About the A. James Clark School of Engineering

The only engineering research program of its magnitude in the national capital region, the University of Maryland A. James Clark School of Engineering welcomes innovators who seek collaborative, hands-on learning, and offers them the resources to become engaged problem-solvers that can remake society for the better.

This premier program is located just a few miles from Washington, D.C., at the center of a constellation of high-tech companies and federal laboratories that offer students and faculty access to unique professional opportunities.

Students can choose from full-time undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree, and full-time graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Maryland Applied Graduate Engineering offers a part-time Master of Engineering degree and a Graduate Certificate in Engineering in a variety of academic subjects.

Maryland Engineering is leading research advancements in aerospace, robotics, bioengineering, nanotechnology, disaster resilience, energy and sustainability, and cybersecurity. Students play a crucial role in developing innovations and participating in cutting-edge research with our award-winning faculty. Maryland Engineering has 200 state-of-the-art laboratories, centers, major projects, and consortia, with more just opened and on the way.

New research and learning facilities in Southern Maryland are designed to advance autonomous systems, including underwater and aerial drones. The MATRIX Lab, housed in the University System of Maryland SMART Building, is close to the St. Mary’s County Regional Airport where the SUAS competition will be held this June (see below). This lab welcomes the media for visits, demonstrations and interviews.

Coming this summer! RoboNation’s SUAS competition hosted with support from the University of Maryland

June 20–22, 2023
SUAS: St. Mary's County Regional Airport in Southern Maryland

The SUAS competition is designed to foster interest in Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), stimulate interest in UAS technologies and careers, and engage students in a challenging mission. SUAS is one of nine RoboNation robotics programs. To learn more about SUAS, visit For more about RoboNation, visit