Underwater robot competition coming to Arkansas

2019 SeaPerch challenge photo, Source: www.navsea.navy.mil

Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H host Seaperch Challenge

Submersible remote-operated robots simulate real-world tasks

Little Rock, Ark. — Feb. 25, 2020 — The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas and Arkansas 4-H will host the 2020 Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge, an underwater robotics competition on Friday, March 6 at The Center at Bishop Park in Bryant. More than 36 teams from 16 counties are registered to compete.

The SeaPerch is a remotely-operated submersible built from more than three dozen parts, including PVC pipe, pool noodles, three 12-volt motors and batteries. During the contest, teams must navigate their SeaPerch through obstacle courses and complete other tasks, such as moving plastic rings from one part of the course and successfully placing them to another part. The goal is to ignite students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

During this year’s competition, competitors will use their SeaPerch robots to simulate a waterway cleanup. The winner of the Arkansas SeaPerch Challenge will advance to the International SeaPerch Challenge that will be held May 29 – 31 at the University of Maryland.

“Arkansas’ electric cooperatives are dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the youth in all areas of our great state,” said Rob Roedel, director of corporate communications for the Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas. “Our partnership with Arkansas 4-H has grown and will continue to expand the Arkansas SeaPerch program. The electric cooperatives are committed to supporting STEM-based learning opportunities for future leaders.”

There will be four teams representing Northeast Arkansas and Craighead Electric Cooperative, two from Crittenden County (Crittenden Aquatics Team 1 & 2), Lawrence County (Robotic Bandits) and Craighead County (Craighead County 4-H).

To learn more about the SeaPerch initiative, visit seaperch.org/about.

The Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas comprise 17 electric distribution cooperatives; Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc. (AECI), a Little Rock-based cooperative that provides services to the distribution cooperatives; and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC), a generation and transmission cooperative. The distribution cooperatives provide electricity to approximately 500,000 homes, farms and businesses in Arkansas and surrounding states.

Craighead Electric Cooperative serves approximately 30,000 members in eight counties in Northeast Arkansas.  Incorporated in 1937, the cooperative operates offices in Jonesboro, Walnut Ridge and Paragould. The locally owned and managed organization has 100 employees. Craighead Electric is an equal opportunity employer and service provider.

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