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IMARC RoboBoat Competition

Raised toward our $5,000 Goal
39 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on May 12, at 11:59 PM CDT
Project Owners

IMARC RoboBoat Competition

What is IMARC?

We are the Iowa Marine Autonomous Racing Club, a multidisciplinary club in the University of Iowa College of Engineering comprised of undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty, working together to build an autonomous boat to compete in the annual RoboBoat competition, which will be held in Daytona Beach, Florida this summer. Our boat will complete a variety of tasks during the competition. Some tasks include navigating through and around buoys, docking the boat into the correct slip, and detecting an underwater sound emitter. We recruit students of all majors and skill levels from across the university. We meet weekly for general group meetings, and also have subgroups that meet at other times throughout the week. Our subgroups include a Hull and Propulsion Team, a Software and Programming Team, and a Hardware and Sensors Team. Our goal is to improve students’ technical and interpersonal skills, which will allow them to be highly effective engineers in dynamic and demanding work environments.

RoboBoat Competition

The RoboBoat competition is sponsored by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. As a part of the competition, student teams are tasked with designing, building, and operating a fully autonomous robotic boat as it navigates through a maritime obstacle course. The competition tasks have been developed from the interests and needs of sponsor companies. Last year’s sponsors included MathWorks, SolidWorks, Northrop Grumman, the Office of Naval Research, and many more. Teams will be scored based on thrust to weight ratio, basic navigation, obstacle avoidance, automated docking, acoustic beacon location and secondary vehicle launch. Along with these tasks, we are required to document our efforts leading up to the competition by writing a journal paper, building a website, authoring a video, and preparing a presentation. 

We Need Your Help!

Your donation to this project will help cover the costs to build our boat and travel to the competition. Support from you will not only provide us an opportunity to compete in the competition, but also give us an opportunity to develop real world problem solving skills that will make us successful in our future professions. We sincerely thank you for your consideration. 


NOTICE: The University of Iowa Center for Advancement is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization soliciting tax-deductible private contributions for the benefit of the University of Iowa. Please visit the UI Center for Advancement disclosures site for additional information.

Choose a giving level



Your gift is appreciated. Thank you!



Your gift will help cover meal costs for the day for one student at the competition. Thank you!



Your gift will pay for the housing of one student for one night at the competition. Thank you!


First Mate

Your gift will pay for one motor and the hardware to control it. Thank you for your contribution!



Your gift will cover the cost of one lidar, which is a rotational laser that tells us the distance between the boat and objects on the course. Thanks for your support!


Yacht Master

Your gift will help cover the group's registration and associated fees for the competition. In addition, we will proudly display your name or logo on our boat. Thanks so much for your generosity!

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