The first video gives a recap of RoboBoat 2014. In 2014, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University took 1st place. University of Florida was 2nd, followed by the Robotics Club at UCF and in 4th place the Georgia Institute of Technology.
The teams must design and build an autonomous boat to compete in challenges. During the competition, student teams race their autonomous surface vehicles through an aquatic obstacle course. This includes littoral area navigation, channel following, and autonomous docking. The competition provides an opportunity for students to develop skills in system engineering by accomplishing realistic missions with autonomous vehicles in the maritime environment.
The price is a steep but they do seem cool. A Sifteo pack of 3 cubes, plus software, 2 games… is $149. They also require Mac or Windows software. no straight Linux 🙁 Each extra cube costs $45. They started shipping (at least in the USA) on September 30th.
Even though it doesn’t say it is available for Android or Linux here is a video from the recent Android open conference by David Merrill
I do agree that the idea of using these cubes that are in our physical space that we manipulate is very cool. And the idea of intelligent play I very much support. But they need to reduce the price and make them available on the best operating system (Linux/Ubuntu) – which is also open and free. They have also released a software development kit for those interested in creating games for the device. I wish them well.