The Team

Get to know our talented members from 2023-24!


The Leadership team at UM::Autonomy is responsible for steering the overall direction of the project. Combining strategic foresight with tactical knowledge, they coordinate all subteams and resources towards a common goal. Ensuring clear communication, effective decision-making, and the overall well-being of the team, their role is essential to the successful execution of the project. Their responsibilities extend beyond project management to include cultivating a supportive, inclusive, and motivated environment for all team members to thrive.


The Business team plays an integral role in managing and propelling the project forward. Leveraging their skills in communication, finance, and logistics, they ensure that necessary resources are received and allocated effectively. The team is responsible for fostering relationships with sponsors, organizing outreach events, and maintaining the flow of information both internally and externally. Their efforts are key in enabling the technical teams to function and ensuring continual progress towards goals.

Artificial Intelligence

The AI team uses a modular approach to break down complex challenges into manageable parts. This strategy enhances the reliability, robustness, and overall efficiency of autonomous decision-making systems. It allows for parallel and individual development of each module, improving the overall productivity of our team.


Our Perception team plays a vital role in object identification. Through the application of advanced computer vision techniques and deep learning models, we optimally detect buoy shapes and colors with a high degree of accuracy. To recognize objects and gauge their distances, we utilize the latest sensor technologies, providing highly accurate mapping and a comprehensive understanding of the environment around the vessel.

Task Planning

The Task Planning team is responsible for strategizing the next move of the vessel. By generating waypoints that direct the vessel’s navigation, we are effective in navigating through complex obstacles and challenges. Our dedicated decision-making systems allow us to adapt to various navigational tasks, thereby improving the efficiency and productivity of our operations.

The Navigation & Controls subteam uses the waypoints generated by the Task Planning team and information from the Computer Vision team to create the best path for the vessel. By employing path-finding algorithms and various sensors, we ensure a smooth, accurate, and efficient path is laid out. We also factor in environmental conditions such as wind and waves, guaranteeing the vessel’s stable and safe movement along the desired path. Our team makes sure to maintain the vessel’s position, velocity, and acceleration regardless of environmental factors.


The Mechanical subteam focuses on designing and fabricating a competitive vessel each year, striving for a balance between hull stability, system accessibility, modularity in design, and a strategic thrust-to-weight ratio to achieve the team’s goals for autonomy at every competition. They not only fabricate the waterproof, hydrodynamic carbon fiber hullforms that house necessary equipment and sensors onboard, but they also carefully plan their vessel design to ensure the effective integration and mounting of these sensors, and any robotic mechanisms necessary for advanced capabilities.


The Electrical team at UM::Autonomy is committed to the development and refinement of the vessel’s electrical systems. With an emphasis on reliability, safety, and maintainability, they focus on integrating failsafes, using off-the-shelf components, and enhancing system modularity.

The team handles the crucial task of setting up a control system that competently converts commands into signals that the vessel’s propulsion system can utilize. The balance between responsiveness and safety in this system plays a significant role in the vessel’s overall performance.

High on their priority list is the establishment of an efficient emergency stop system. The team constructs this system to account for various potential failure modes, ensuring that a safe and reliable method to halt the vessel is always available, thereby enhancing the reliability of operations.

In sync with their commitment to maintainability and modularity, the Electrical team designs systems that feature standardized, removable connections where possible. This strategy facilitates swift troubleshooting and easier hardware replacement or upgrade, keeping the vessel competition-ready at all times.

Advanced Capabilities

The Advanced Capabilities team designs solutions to tackle the more intricate challenges of the competition that extend beyond fundamental navigation. Balancing the constraints of deck space and system compatibility, they concentrate on crafting reliable, simple, and accurate mechanisms that can be developed and integrated onto the vessel separately.

UM::Autonomy pays meticulous attention to maintaining a consistent system performance under various operating conditions. To handle specific competition tasks, the team prefers solutions that are straightforward yet effective. Every design choice is guided by a commitment to simplicity and reliability, ensuring that the vessel’s operations are robust and consistent.

The integration of their designs is done in a manner that reduces system complexity, while enabling unified control. The end goal is always to enhance the operational robustness and reliability of the vessel.