Strong showing: Provincial teams win at world remotely operated vehicle championship

Jun 29th, 2022

By Kim Thornhill

Eastern Edge Robotics placed third overall in this year’s international MATE ROV World Championship in Long Beach, Calif.

Newfoundland and Labrador teams captured major awards this past weekend at the 2022 MATE ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) World Championship in Long Beach, Calif.

Memorial University’s Eastern Edge Robotics team placed third overall and was awarded Best Engineering presentation in the Explorer category for post-secondary students. The team is comprised of more than 30 students from the Marine Institute and faculties of Science and Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial.

Mount Pearl Senior High’s Husky Explorer team received Best Engineering presentation in the Ranger class, the Guts and Glory Award and a Most Valuable Player honours for team member, Eric Goulding.

Twenty international teams competed in the Explorer class, while there were 25 teams in the Ranger class this year.

Twentieth year of competition

The MATE Center’s annual ROV competition, now in its 20th year, challenges international high school and post-secondary students to learn and creatively apply STEM skills to solve real-world problems using ROVs, as well as strengthen their critical thinking, collaboration, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Memorial’s Marine Institute has held MATE regional ROV competitions since 2003, and successfully hosted the world championships in 2007 and 2015.

Provincial high school and post-secondary teams excelled in the competition during the last two decades. Eastern Edge Robotics placed in the top three spots nine times, taking first place four times.

“It’s very encouraging to see our youth actively engaged in learning about ocean technology and the opportunities it offers globally,” said Paul Brett, associate vice-president (research and strategic partnership), Marine Institute, and one of the Eastern Edge Robotics team’s mentors. “These educational experiences can only serve to enhance the growth of the ocean technology sector in our province and attract the next generation of entrepreneurs and leaders.”

This year’s competition highlighted the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and urged participants to embrace environmental, social and governance efforts.

Students were challenged to design and build an ROV and the necessary sensors and tooling to support work to combat climate change, provide clean energy, feed the growing global population, monitor ocean health and preserve maritime history.

Educational partnership

The MATE Center is a partnership of educational institutions and organizations working to improve marine technical education, provide participating students opportunities to learn skills used in marine and ocean technology jobs and encourage them to become involved in research and development.

The provincial MATE competitions have been supported by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department Energy, Technology and Innovation, Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd., Equinor, Kraken, Seamor Marine, Fugro, Subsea 7, Suncor, Chevron, Cenovus Energy, GRi Simulations, Pangeo Subsea, SubC Imaging, Ocean Quest, Crosbie Group Ltd., Cooke Aquaculture, Marine Institute and Memorial University.

Eastern Edge Robotics was additionally supported this year by Colab, Mysa, Pennecon, Rally and SubSea 7.