HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A combined team from Pearl City High School and Highlands Intermediate School, Kaimana Enterprises, has advanced from Oahu's Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) regional tournament and is currently preparing for the 14th Annual International Student ROV Competition to be held June 25 - 27 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) are tethered underwater robots that are used to accomplish underwater tasks, especially in situations where it would be difficult or dangerous to send a human diver. At the International Competition, Kaimana Enterprises will compete against 35 of the top teams from around the world (including universities) in the Ranger Class MATE competition.
The team has a total of 12 members comprised of four 10th graders, one 9th grader, five 8th graders, and two 7th graders. The competition calls for the team to form a company with designated roles which include Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Electronics Manager, Chief Engineer, Chief Designer, Mechanical Engineer, Software Engineer, and Safety Inspector. Although each member of the team has a designated role, all members of the team have become well rounded in most aspects of engineering and design.
The MATE underwater robotics competition is an event that challenges students to apply physics, electronics, naval architecture, and engineering skills to solve real life problems in the marine environment. The competition places very few restrictions on the team as far as how to design their ROV or the materials they use to build it. Kaimana Enterprises has spent months researching, developing an original design, and building prototypes before settling on the final configuration of their ROV, aptly named Kaikoa, Hawaiian for Ocean Warrior. Seasoned team members have taught the new members how to use power tools, solder, wire circuits, program, and most importantly for these ROVs, how to effectively waterproof components.
The goal of the MATE Center is to prepare America's future workforce for success in many occupations. The MATE Center has been funded as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Center of Excellence since 1997. The MATE Center works with community colleges, high schools, universities, research institutions, marine industries, professional societies, and working professionals to facilitate the development of courses and programs based on industry-established guidelines.
This year's competition theme is "ROVs in Extreme Environments: Science and Industry in the Arctic." Teams must complete a series of three different product demonstrations, submit a technical report and marketing display, and present an oral sales presentation before a panel of working professionals. The product demonstration score depends on both the ROV's and the driver's abilities to complete as many tasks as possible in each of the three designated demonstration scenarios. The engineering and communication aspect of the team's scoring is determined by three parts: the team's technical documentation detailing design and construction of their ROV, a technical sales presentation, and a marketing display. Additionally, points are deducted for any safety violations on the ROV, and workplace practices are evaluated, with points added or deducted for safety.
For more information about the competition, click here.