Eight students and two mentors traveled to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to compete in the XPRIZE Competition. Shortly after their arrival on Saturday, November 18, they went out to sea to launch their AUVs in front of the judges. That day, everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. Their AUV shorted out and would not start, and the second AUV in the water had a bad battery and became disabled. On its way back in, the above surface vehicle that Florida Atlantic University was testing ran aground and was disabled. The team worked all night to get one AUV working, and the above surface vehicle was repaired in the morning.
Monday morning, Dr. Daugherty arrived and gave a devotion from Isaiah 51:15-16 and 52:6-7 with the students, XPRIZE judges and partners. He challenged us to believe the Creator of the heavens and the Earth can give divine downloads and help them succeed if they checked their motives and recommitted their efforts “as unto the Lord” and His purposes. They prayed together that all they did would glorify our Lord and bring transformation to education. God answered our prayers! The rest of the day every test they ran SUCCEEDED! The XPRIZE judges were impressed and amazed.
On the final day they had one last requirement. They were able to get their mapping data and the software to run it on the morning of the last day of the evaluation. They also met every requirement and received sign off by the XPRIZE judges! They completed 10 of the 11 requirements, and the last one is something they have until January to complete. Their AUV was deployed autonomously by their surface vehicle, which is the first time this has ever been done!
Thank you to everyone who prayed and supported the team throughout the competition. They have a very good chance of moving onto the final round which will be another XPRIZE record! Results will be available in March 2018.