The Aritra IITM team from the Marine Autonomous Vessels (MAV) Laboratory in the Department of Ocean Engineering, IIT Madras, has emerged as the champion in the 2023 Virtual RobotX (VRX) challenge. Hosted by RoboNation USA in collaboration with Open Robotics and the Office of Naval Research, this international competition drew participation from 33 teams worldwide, including MIT and NSU. Aritra IITM's outstanding performance, earning them the prestigious first-place title and a $1500 cash prize, showcased their unparalleled expertise in developing autonomous solutions for surface vessels.

The Aritra team successfully secured first place for their excellent proficiency in autonomy algorithms for tasks such as station-keeping, waypoint tracking, obstacle avoidance, perception, and autonomous docking. Notably, the Aritra IITM team also got special recognition for the best video presentation. The competition, set against simulated challenging marine environment conditions including wind, waves, and strong currents, provided a platform for teams to showcase their innovative autonomy algorithms.

The Aritra team members included Amar Nath Singh, Vallabh Deogaonkar, Akash Vijayakumar, Mohammed Ibrahim M., Krishnavelu Ramachandran, and Prabhakaran J. Dr. Abhilash Somayajula, the team mentor, is acknowledged for his invaluable guidance and support.