Underwater robot event ends at marine sanctuary

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Updated: 6/29/2014 11:19 pm

ALPENA, Mich. (AP) — About 60 teams from 18 states and 13 countries have put underwater robots through their paces at the only federal freshwater marine sanctuary in the United States.

Officials say the 13th Marine Advanced Technology Education Remotely Operated Vehicle International Competition ended Saturday at Michigan's Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The teams now await word from the judges.

Teams worked with robots in a large tank while judges evaluated their performance along with engineering and communication.

Archaeologist Stephanie Gandulla says the competition was based on research in the northeastern Lower Peninsula sanctuary. Tasks included identifying a shipwreck, collecting microbial samples from a sinkhole, inventorying invasive species and removing trash.

The Alpena facility is among 14 national marine sanctuaries operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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