International champions: Eastern Edge Robotics captures fourth international ROV competition title
Eastern Edge Robotics, Memorial University’s Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) team earned top honours at the 2016 MATE International ROV Competition held at the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) in Houston, Texas.
This is the fourth international win for the team, whose members are post-secondary students from various backgrounds including ROV technology, several engineering disciplines, computer science, ocean mapping, and business.
31 teams took part in the EXPLORER class and were judged based on their technical documentation, marketing display, product presentation and product demonstration. Eastern Edge team member Racheal Seymour was recognized as a Product Presentation MVP and with a score of 215, the team took top honours for their product demonstration. They were also recognized with the gROVer award for courtesy, kindness and professionalism to other teams.
“We knew we had a pretty good chance when the competition started and our ROV ‘Blue Puttee’ had been performing beautifully for over a month leading up to the competition. After investing a combined 10,000 hours into the project it was so gratifying to have everything come off as well as it did. We had a lot of fun, made a lot of friends and best of all we brought the title back home with an ROV named in honour of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beaumont Hamel. We couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Anthony Randell, CEO of Eastern Edge Robotics.
“Mentoring a team like eastern edge is a very rewarding experience, the team is comprised of some very high fliers in their respective faculties. Not to sound cliché, but the sum of the parts far outweighed the individual contributions, they worked as a team, competed as a team and won as a team,” said Paul Brett, Interim Head of MI’s School of Ocean Technology and Mentor of Eastern Edge Robotics
Mount Pearl Senior High School and O’Donel High School were also on deck for the competition, taking part in the RANGER class – having taken first and second place, respectively during the regional competition held in St. John’s, NL in May. O’Donel won for best marketing display and Sean Purchase of Mount Pearl Senior High was named a Product Presentation MVP amongst the RANGER competitors.
This year, ‘From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: ROV Encounters in Inner and Outer Space,’ challenged teams to design a robot that would survive transport to Jupiter’s moon Europa and operate in the ocean under its ice sheet to collect data and deploy instrumentation. Missions ranged from photographing and collecting samples of deep-water corals to attaching a flange to the top of a wellhead and determining the thickness of the ice crust on Europa.
The MATE Center and the Marine Technology Society’s (MTS) ROV Committee organize the ROV competition, which is supported by the MTS ROV Committee, the National Science Foundation and its Office of Polar Programs, Oceaneering International, NASA, NOAA, and other ocean- and science-related organizations.
This year, the Eastern Edge Robotics team was supported by the Department of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Statoil, ExxonMobil (Hibernia), GRI Simulations, Crosbie Salamis, Husky Energy and Coastal Connections.