For the second straight year, the Eastern Edge Robotics Team, representing the Marine Institute of Memorial University, captured gold at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) centre’s International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition. The annual event was held this past weekend at NASA’s Sonny Carter Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas.
The competition challenges teams to design, build and operate an ROV to perform a series of tasks like those performed by an ROV in an industrial setting. This year’s competition was based on the theme of Ocean Observation Systems.
Of the 16 teams competing in their class, Eastern Edge was one of only two teams to complete all of the tasks. Eastern Edge also turned in the fastest time requiring less than 15 of the allotted 30 minutes for the mission. As a result, the team was awarded first place overall as well as the Judges’ Choice Award.
The 18-member team is comprised of post-secondary students from the Memorial University’s Marine Institute, Faculties of Engineering, Science, and School of Human Kinetics and Recreation and the College of the North Atlantic. These students have worked since January to prepare for the competition.
The Marine Institute’s Dwight Howse, one of the team’s four mentors, thinks the team is well deserving of the title. “Each student brings their individual skills, talents and education to the challenge. Together, they formed a team that produced an exceptional ROV which they successfully operated even under the pressures of competition,” said Mr. Howse. “Their performance is a credit to the training they received and their ability to use that training in a real-world application.”
Team mentor Tom Donovan added: “This accomplishment would not have been possible without the support received from the Marine Institute, the Faculty of Engineering, and industry sponsors who provided equipment, expertise, facilities and finances to the team.”
Two high school teams from Newfoundland and Labrador also competed in a separate class. First-time competitors Heritage Collegiate from Lethbridge, won the Design Elegance Award for their ROV design. Gonzaga High School of St. John’s turned in a top-five finish in the mission tasks among the 25 teams competing from Canada, the United States and China.
The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre is a partnership of educational institutions and organizations working to improve marine technical education. Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College, the MATE Centre is one of 11 Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Centres established with funding from the National Science Foundation’s ATE Program.
Editor’s Note: A photo of the Eastern Edge Robotics Team can be viewed at www.mun.ca/marcomm/media/media_relations_photots.php.