Dive in to learn more about the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle competition team at Kennesaw State

KENNESAW, Ga. | Jan 30, 2024

President Dante Orlando shares his experience with being a member of the AUV team.

auv team poses with manta in shop
The AUV Team poses with Manta, the ray-shaped vehicle that won in Savannah, GA.

Student Affairs sat down with Dante Orlando, President of the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team, to share more about the competition team and why he joined.  
Orlando is an Industrial Engineering major and has been a member of the AUV team since he was a first-year student. He learned about competition teams from a fellow mechatronics classmate when he overheard him discussing the various things they build, and underwater subs piqued Orlando’s interest.  
“Our team is about building robots that work underwater autonomously,” Orlando said. “For example, we might build a robot that will pick up objects from the bottom of a pool, or in San Diego, we go to an international competition [RoboSub] that is at a Navy base, and [the auv] has to pick up objects, shoot torpedoes, identify various objects through our neural network, which is a way for our robot to look at a picture or an object and identify it and see ‘that is a target’ or ‘that is not a target,’ or ‘that is an object I don't want to run into,’ for example.” 
What would you like to share about your experience joining AUV? 
“When I joined the team, there was a lot of emphasis on everyone being able to work on a robot, not just veteran members,” Orlando said. “That helped me get really engaged because we worked on projects to help build a robot. For example, I was able to help build PCBs or circuit boards when I was just a freshman. So, I felt like I was a part of the team. Sometimes with projects in the real world they might not give people who are newer to a job site the ability to work on the top projects or anything, but here, we want to give as much experience as possible and give a good experience for students to learn and apply what they have taken from class, into the sub or a project that they can be proud of. We take people from all experiences, from people who happen to have no experience in engineering to people who have a lot of experience. We give people a lot of opportunity in those types of fields.” 
“We are also interested in getting people who are business majors and [do] social media because we need help in those departments,” Orlando continues. “I feel like that would help us a lot. I feel like anyone's welcome if they want to build a sub or just build a robot to have fun.” 
Can you tell us your favorite part about being a member? 
“I guess it's the culture, Orlando said. “We're usually very friendly with each other. We mess around and tease each other and stuff like that, but I feel like that just kind of builds up camaraderie. We usually find other things outside of AUV. I know a couple of us play video games. I know a couple of us like going to programming competitions and stuff like that, and just trying to build a community here, which I think is very valuable. If we all can work together and build a bond with each other, I feel like that helps us in the long run instead of just coming here to build a robot and saying nothing to each other. I feel like that helps a lot.” 

AUV team with manta vehicle after their win

 The AUV team poses with Manta to celebrate their win in Savannah, GA. 

Students who are interested in joining the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle can learn more on the organization’s Owl Life page.  

They meet on the Marietta campus in the team’s garage and lab space as well as online on Discord.  

Interested in having your Registered Student Organization or Club Sport featured? Fill out the Feature Request form! 

-Meghan Cooper

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