Who we are

We are an interdisciplinary team of student engineers from Duke University dedicated to advancing the field of robotics. We provide a hands-on learning environment where members can enhance their design, programming, and engineering skills. We strive to foster a community where like-mined individuals can collaborate, share ideas, and inspire each other in the ever-evolving world of robotics.

Working in the lab

What we do

We compete annually in the RoboSub underwater robotics competition. RoboSub is a US Navy-sponsored competition that challenges student teams to design and build autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). These vehicles are designed to autonomously navigate through complex underwater tasks. Every year, over 40 teams from around the world come together to demonstrate their mastery of robotics engineering. We’ve been participating ever since our founding in 2001, consistently placing in the semifinals or higher every year we’ve competed.

Meet our AUV

Our advanced entry for RoboSub 2024, Oogway is the culmination of our 20+ years of experience in building AUVs. Oogway features a modular design with cutting-edge software for precise navigation and object recognition, and novel hardware for environmental interaction, demonstrating our team’s commitment to advancing underwater robotics. This AUV incorporates a seamlessly integrated system of independently developed and tested components, ensuring robust functionality and high performance in competitive underwater missions.

Oogway AUV

Watch our RoboSub 2024 Competition Video

Meet our sub-teams

Computer Science

The Computer Science (CS) team is tasked with programming our AUV's brain, ensuring it can autonomously navigate and execute tasks underwater. They delve deep into areas such as computer vision, machine learning, sensor fusion, and real-time data processing. They craft sophisticated algorithms for motion control, path planning, and obstacle avoidance to precisely maneuver the AUV in complex underwater environments. Their work enables the AUV to recognize objects, make decisions, and interact with its environment effectively.


The Electrical team is responsible for the electrical architecture, including the development of power distribution systems, signal conditioning, and the integration of sensors and actuators. They design and implement custom printed circuit boards (PCBs) and optimize power and heat management. They implement novel hardware to locate acoustic pings. Their work ensures that all electronic components communicate effectively and reliably under the demanding conditions of underwater operation.


The Mechanical team designs the physical framework and structural integrity of the AUV, ensuring it can withstand the pressures and challenges of underwater environments. Their tasks include the fabrication of the hull, development of watertight enclosures for electronic components, and implementation of actuators. The team also designs custom mechanical parts tailored to the unique needs of our AUV. They use CAD software and employ 3D printing for rapid prototyping. Their efforts culminate in a robust and efficient AUV that can manipulate objects around it.

What we offer

The Duke Robotics Club is a great opportunity to gain project experience that is not available in a normal classroom setting. You’ll gain hands-on experience in engineering, inter-team communication, and learn many industry standard tools which prepare you for internship and job opportunities. This low-stress environment is a great place to explore and practice new skills, make mistakes, and learn from them. You’ll also have the chance to get to know upperclassmen that have lots of knowledge to pass along! We host several events outside of the lab, including team dinners and social events. We can’t wait to meet you!

Club members working on the robot

Join us!

No prior experience required! Check out our official recruiting events and join us for our intro project at the beginning of the semester, or hop in during any one of our twice-weekly meetings.

Club meeting in session