S.O.N.I.A (Système d’Opération Nautique Intelligent et Autonome) is a scientific club from École de Technologie Supérieure in Montreal, QC, which has been designing and manufacturing autonomous submarines for 23 years. S.O.N.I.A was founded in 1999 and its members have designed a total of 8 autonomous submarines since. The club is made up of students from programs in mechanics, electrical, automated production and software. The main goal of S.O.N.I.A is to participate in the annual Robosub event in San Diego, California. This competition aims to test the autonomy of submarines and the skills of student groups in terms of innovation by setting up various missions underwater. This competition allows, among other things, to measure the progress made during the year. In this competition, S.O.N.I.A has to perform several complex tasks such as identifying obstacles, picking up and dropping objects, following acoustic signals, all without human intervention. Currently, S.O.N.I.A has supported two prototypes (AUV7 and AUV8).
Moreover, S.O.N.I.A is an undergraduate student association and as such, we believe in harmonious team work and that knowledge is best acquired through hands-on experience. Our goal is to offer an educational environment for everyone whose desire is to learn and we strongly believe in the advancement of robotics. S.O.N.I.A is a group that wants to innovate and move forward in the solutions it develops. We always wish improving on what’s in place to make prototypes better each release. We also believe that sharing knowledge is very important and that is why we want make this project an open source project to allow other teams to innovate and develop a better sub in turn. The club already shares all of its GitHub repositories to help others teams participating to the competition or any other person wishing to design autonomous submarine.