August 12, 2012 A NATO competition in La Spezia, Italy, is encouraging the next generation of researchers and engineers to create their own Robo-Sub, as scientists attempt to expand the role of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles. 15 University teams have half an hour to get their subs to successfully identify an underwater gateway, pass through it and then follow a pipeline. Already in use for mine clearance, developing autonomy in Underwater Vessels is the key to enhancing their uses in counter-submarine warfare and other covert missions. One of the other teams competing at La Spezia is keen to explore swarm technology, which could help navies to minimise risks and save money, allowing groups of smaller cheaper robots to complete tasks faster and more effectively. The main goal of the competition is to encourage more young people to seek careers in engineering and research, but NATO also benefits from working with students who are forced to innovate and be resourceful on limited budgets.