International MATE ROV Competition a Success
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Reigning champions Jesuit High School of California took top honours at this year’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s International Student Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition. AMNO & CO ROV of Washington were the winners in the RANGER (high school) class.

Memorial University’s Eastern Edge team took home second prize in EXPLORER with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology coming in third. In RANGER, the Center for Robotics Development of Russia came second with Palos Verdes Institute of Technology from California placing third.

“The competition was a tremendous success thanks to the commitment of our organizing committee, student participants and mentors, and many volunteers,” said Dwight Howse, head of MI’s school of ocean technology. “Not only did participants have the opportunity to learn about science and technology, but they really put their skills to the test by working together to design, build and pilot their ROVs in complex missions designed to simulate real-life tasks.”

This year, the students were challenged to perform tasks in a cold water environment, not unlike that of offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. One task saw the students pilot their ROV under a layer of ice to count and sample organisms, deploy scientific instruments and collect iceberg data. They also inspected pipelines and tested deep-sea oilfield equipment.            

During the awards banquet held on Saturday night, prizes were also handed out for presentations and marketing displays. In the RANGER class, the top presentation score went to Jesuit High School. The top engineering evaluation (sales presentation) score went to Taipei American School of Taiwan, top marketing display (poster) to Highlands Intermediate School/Pearl City High School of Hawaii and top technical presentation to Ozaukee High School of Wisconsin. In the EXPLORER class, Eastern Edge was recognized for top marketing display while top presentation score, top engineering evaluation (sales presentation) and top technical presentation scores all went to Jesuit High School.

Eastern Edge was also presented with the GROVer Award which recognized their assistance to other teams during the competition and Kyle Doody of the team was named one of the ‎Engineering MVPs in the EXPLORER class.

This 14th annual competition was hosted and supported by the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University (MI) and the National Research Council’s (NRC) Ocean, Coastal, and River Engineering (OCRE) facility. The competition challenged more than 700 students from 16 countries around the world to design, build and pilot an ROV.

The MATE Center and the Marine Technology Society’s (MTS) ROV Committee organize the ROV competition, which is supported by the MTS ROV Committee, the National Science Foundation and its Office of Polar Programs, Oceaneering International, NASA, NOAA, and other ocean- and science-related organizations. Locally, the competition was supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the provincial department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, and industry partners including, Statoil, Hibernia, Husky Energy and Subsea7.