Recap: MATE International ROV Competition 2019

Friends, hello! A couple of weeks ago we attended (for the 4th year in a row!) the MATE International ROV Competition and we are excited as ever for the future of marine robotics. Before we dive into a recap, let’s take a look at some throwbacks from previous competitions!

But First, What is MATE?

The MATE International ROV (remotely operated vehicle or underwater robot) competition challenges students to learn and creatively apply STEM skills to solve real-world problems and strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Throughout the school year, students spend lotsss of time designing, prototyping, engineering, and testing their ROVs, all in preparation for the regional events that take place across the country and around the world which then feed into the international championship.

A brief history of BR and MATE

In 2016 the event was held at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas – a pretty epic location for our first time! The 2016 competition highlighted how technologies developed for use in the harsh ocean environment can also be used in outer space – and vice versa.

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

Rusty with Marty Klein, the father of side scan sonar 😝 (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

In 2017, the International competition was right in our back yard, at Long Beach City College. This was our first opportunity to live stream the competition from the BlueROV2! The 2017 MATE competition highlighted the role that ROVs play in streamlining commerce, maintaining entertainment, and ensuring both health and safety of port cities of the future.

The BlueROV2 posing at the LBCC pool.

The BlueROV2 posing at the LBCC pool.

In 2018, we traveled north to Federal Way, Washington, where we were honored with a chance to JUDGE the competition! The 2018 MATE competition highlighted the role that ROVs play in supporting underwater archaeology, seismology, and renewable energy activities in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out the 2018 live stream!

Adam and Daniel and some swag (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

Adam and Daniel and some swag (left) and a competition vehicle (right).

2019 Competition

This year’s event took place in Kingsport, Tennessee, and highlighted the role that ROVs play inshore – in freshwater rivers, lakes, and dams in Eastern Tennessee. 741 teams competed in regional tournaments across the world, with 70 of them facing off at the international competition. As in the past, the competition was streamed live from a BlueROV2!

LIVE from Kingsport, TN, it's the MATE Competition!

LIVE from Kingsport, TN, it's the MATE Competition!

Winners!

Explorer Class
    1st Place – Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)
    2nd Place – Arab Academy of Science Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT)
    3rd Place – Jesuit High School
Ranger Class
    1st Place – Aptos High School
    2nd Place – The Center for Robotics
    3rd Place – California Academy of Math & Science (CAMS)
Overall champs, HKAUST and Aptos High!

Overall champs, HKAUST and Aptos High!

A huge congratulations to all teams that competed this year! We are so stoked to watch the competition grow and to meet even more teams next year. Don’t forget to send in your photos and gifs for the remaining categories of the #SubSeaSTEM photo contest!

Start the discussion at discuss.bluerobotics.com