Clatsop Community College’s underwater robotics team, the only collegiate qualifier in Oregon for the finals of an global competition, needs help getting to Long Beach, California.
Lazarus Industries, the eight-member team of students competing in Marine Advanced Technology Education’s remotely operated vehicle competition, recently qualified for the international finals at Long Beach City College in late June.
Their self-built robot, Lazarus, is tasked with mock missions helping the Port of Long Beach install a hyperloop for transporting cargo; repair a fountain in a water and light show; assess and cap contaminated sediment; and identify and map cargo that fell off of a cargo ship into the harbor.
Last year, the team was the only collegiate Oregon qualifier for the finals at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The team performed well last year with its submersible, Magnificus “Maggie” Praesegmen, but stumbled in marketing and product demonstrations, placing last among 31 competitors from North America, Europe and Asia.
This year, the team expanded to include CEO Haley Werst, Chief of Business Operations Jennifer Jordan, Head of Research and Development Georges Oates Larsen, Chief of Manufacturing Sam Daire and multiple engineers in hopes of a more rounded performance. The team is advised by college physics instructor Pat Keefe.
“This robot was built from the ashes of Maggie,” Oates Larsen, a team member since 2013, said of the new robot. “Lazarus is meant to have everything we thought other teams did well” last year.
Named after the biblical narrative of the raising Lazarus from the dead, the robot is built around an octagonal metal frame with six thrusters to completely control navigation underwater, cameras facing every direction, buoyancy chambers on top and a fiber-optic tether running to the controls on land.
The college’s upstart team operates each year on a shoestring budget compared to its opponents, cannibalizing last year’s robot for the next generation. Jordan, a physics student in her first year with the team, said it receives only $500 in dedicated funding through the college, with the rest coming from fundraising.
The team needs to raise money for housing, transportation, motor upgrades and a manipulator to grab objects in the competition, and has formed a GoFundMe page at http://tinyurl.com/mzoky55. From 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday, the team will hold “The Art of Robotics,” a demonstration and fundraiser at the Barbey Maritime Center.