Open Robotics
Powering the world's robots



For blog posts prior to April 2018, visit our old site. You might also enjoy the ROS blog and the Gazebo blog.



New Virtual RobotX competition

RoboNation, in partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School and Open Robotics, announced today that applications are now being accepted for the Virtual RobotX Competition (VRX). Sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the VRX competition is an international, university-level effort designed to broaden students’ exposure to autonomy and maritime robotic technologies.

In the VRX competition, student teams will operate their vehicle in a Gazebo-based simulation environment built by Open Robotics and the Naval Postgraduate School. Students will be tasked to develop innovative solutions to ensure their virtual Unmanned Surface Vehicle (USV) can perform prescribed tasks in this environment. Tasks for this competition have been derived from RoboNation’s Maritime RobotX Challenge.


Robotic teams from around the world are encouraged to apply for the VRX competition. As part of the application process, teams will provide information on their past history in robotic competitions and the impact they hope to achieve by competing in VRX.


Applications are being accepted here. Access all rules and supporting documents, simulation environment and forum on the VRX site.

“This is a very unique simulation environment and one that we are excited about creating”, according to Carlos Agüero, Research Engineer at Open Robotics. “We are very excited to see how the teams perform with their simulated USVs”.

“The Virtual RobotX competition, as part of the larger Maritime RobotX Program, is designed to give students the opportunity to improve their vehicles’ performance”, says RoboNation Executive Director Daryl Davidson. “The solutions the teams develop in the VRX competition will aid their performance when competing in a real-world environment at the biennial RobotX Challenge, to be held in Hawaii in 2020”.

Important Dates:

  • March: Preliminary Rules & Scoring Released

  • March: Software v1.0 Released

  • March 15: Application Opens

  • March 25-29: Student Feedback Call

  • April 7: Application Closes

  • April 15: Announce Accepted Teams

  • April 15: Open Registration

  • April 30: Close Registration

  • May: Student Feedback Call

  • June: Final Rules & Scoring Released

  • September: Qualifiers

  • November: Semi-Finals

  • December: Finals

Carlos Aguero