University Student Design and Applied Solutions Competition

2018 USDASC Challenge Topic Overview

Students, meet your challenge:

The challenge for the 2018 USDASC competition is to develop a system for corrosion inspection in difficult-to-access areas that can do the following:
*Teams must work within a budget which will be included in the official rules.*

The teams will need to compile the findings of the system and report the findings to the judges in a paper report at the conclusion of the inspection.

At the competition event, the system will be demonstrated on a fixed structure.

FAQ and General Information

Please check this page often as we will regularly update this document as questions arise.

Does the competition require a device to move autonomously or are remotely controlled devices allowed?

Remote controlled devices are allowed. Any mode of maneuverability outside of someone physically touching it with his/her hand, is allowed to help the device move.

What is classified as destructive? We were looking into detection techniques such as ultrasonic that one, requires contact with the surface, and two, requires a gel to be placed on the surface to detect corrosion. Would using the gel or using contact techniques that could remove blistered paint or other defects from the surface allowed?

Because every team uses the same structure in the final competition, allowing inspection methods that remove the coating would compromise the structure for the other teams. The device can touch the coating to inspect it however, if a gel is used, it must be removed from the surface when the inspection is complete and it cannot damage the coating while in use.

Does the system used in the container have to complete all of the data computations or can a laptop interfaced with the system located outside of the container be used to complete the computations of the data gathered by the system?

A laptop or any other system outside the structure can be used in concert with the system inside the structure to help analyze or interpret data, complete computations, etc.

What computations must the system actually be able to complete autonomously? Is it a situation where the device must locate and size the corrosion, but team members can determine the type of corrosion based on the image provided by the system?

There are no requirements to what the system inside the structure must do vs. any system outside the structure working with it. If the team would like to use the system inside the structure to locate the corrosion and then use a system outside the structure to interpret and analyze it, that is acceptable. It is acceptable for the operator to make the determination of what kind of corrosion is present based on the information it receives from its system. The system itself is not required to do it.

Since we're able to put the robot in/take it out manually, can we move it between compartments? The rules point to no, according to the second paragraph on p7, but it's something that's come up a couple of times in our discussion.

Yes, the device can be removed from one compartment and placed into the other one time.

If we have 2 devices, can we use one on each side? The rules explicitly allow multiple devices, but not sure about placement.

Yes, multiple devices can be used and placed in separate compartments.

Assuming we are not permitted to place the robot in each compartment manually, how high off the ground is the hole between the two compartments?

The bottom point of the pentagonal shape is 9” from the base of the structure.

How close were the teams from previous year to run over the budget? Or what was the budget like last year?

There was no budget limit to the competition last year. This is a new addition to the official rules.

Were the teams able to meet requirements?


Were any of last years vehicles able to navigate their way through the center divider, besides the drones?

The teams did not navigate through the central divider.

Were vehicles able to detect corrosion on the walls from the ground?

The teams were not required to report on how they detected the corrosion in their report to the judges, therefore, I do not have information as to whether they detected it from the ground. Any approach to detect the corrosion from any vantage point is acceptable as long as it stays within the official rules.

Can we manually reinsert the vehicle into the second chamber of the competition course without a points penalty? For example, putting vehicle in from both outside holes (square and circle).

Yes, your team may insert the vehicle into each chamber one time without penalty.

Will NACE provide a printer for the production of a printed report or will we need to bring our own?

I will double check on this and report back to you.

What are the rules regarding rented or used equipment for the final competition vehicle with regard to how it affects the budget rules? For example, we rented a sensor as opposed to buying one.

Rental is permissible and the rental fee would be considered as part of your budget – not the value of the equipment used.

What is the color of the PSX 700 being used in the competition?

The PSX 700 is yellow inside the box

What is the color of the primer?

The primer is not tinted.

Rules of the competition on page 6 stated that "Each team will be required to detect the presence of water, provide the exact location of any areas of corrosion it locates." My question to you is, how exact are we talking about regarding the location of the corrosion? something like x and y coordinate of each corrosion relative to each steel plate is required of us? or a clear picture showing corrosion spots on the plate is good enough?

By December 31st, 2016, we will provide each team with a form that they will use to report its findings to the judges at the competition. The form will include information on how the judges will want the location provided to them. In all likelihood, the judges would like to see an attempt to provide a location such as you describe below with x and y coordinates. I will have very detailed information to each team by December 31st to help clarify how the location should be reported.