Port Cities of the Future Focus for Upcoming ROV Competition
Thursday, May 4, 2017

Students from junior high and high schools across the province will navigate their custom-designed remotely operated vehicles through tasks designed to simulate port cities of the future during this weekend’s 2017 MATE ROV Regional Newfoundland and Labrador competition.

 The MATE ROV Regional Newfoundland and Labrador competition is an annual event that encourages students to learn and apply science, technology, engineering, and math skills as they develop ROVs to complete missions that simulate real-world problems from the ocean workplace. ROVs are tethered underwater robots used in scientific research, ocean exploration, homeland security, the offshore oil and gas industry, and other industries. 

This year’s competition highlights the role that ROVs will play in streamlining commerce, maintaining entertainment and ensuring both health and safety of port cities of the future. Teams will perform a variety of underwater mission tasks, piloting their ROV to navigate challenges in the simulated Port of Long Beach, California to help to install a Hyperloop system; conduct maintenance on the port’s water and light show; identify and collect samples of contaminated sediment; and identify the contents of fallen shipping as well as map the area.  

The competition also encourages students to think of themselves as entrepreneurs and form companies that design, manufacture, market, and sell specialized products and services in ocean technology. This requires them to solve problems in new and innovative ways, think creatively, work as part of a team, and understand all aspects of business operations. 

Fourteen teams will take part in the SCOUT (junior high) competition. The SCOUT welcome ceremony takes place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4 with the competition getting underway on Friday, May 5. Fourteen teams will also compete in the RANGER (high school) competition welcome ceremony will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5 with the competition getting underway on Saturday, May 6. The competition will be held at MI’s campus located at 155 Ridge Road and is open to the public on Friday and Saturday (May 5 and 6, 2017). 

The 2017 regional competition is supported by Hibernia Management and Development Corporation, Statoil, Husky Energy, Subsea 7, Crystal Cam Imaging Inc., Crosbie Group Limited and Fugro Geosurveys. Local ocean technology professionals volunteer as judges for the competition, evaluating the students’ ROVs, poster displays, and engineering presentations. 

The MATE ROV Regional Newfoundland and Labrador is one of 30 regional contests held around the world and managed by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center. The regional event’s winning team will earn the opportunity to compete in the 16th annual MATE international ROV competition, which will be held from June 23-25, 2017 at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, California, USA.