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Acquiring 3D very high resolution data in operational conditions is a real challenge in marine coastal areas exploration for environmental, archaeological and defense and security applications. In order to achieve these goals the use of small autonomous robots can be seen as an efficient solution. Because of the complexity of the development of that kind of vehicles, the main contribution are due today to large research laboratories. But because of the democratization of information and communication technologies, such works begin to be affordable and as participating to these developments could be also a very interesting and innovative pedagogical experience, we have chosen to open some of our research projects to undergraduate students. In this paper, we present two research projects in the development of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle involving undergraduate students, projects that have won awards in the international student contest SAUCE.