Welcome to the PNW Regional Challenge 2015


MATE’s international student underwater robotics (remotely operated vehicle or ROV) competition consists of an international event and a network of 23 regional contests that take place across the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Scotland, Japan, and Egypt. Student teams from upper elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, and community organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club and 4-H, participate. The competition consists of four different classes that vary depending on the sophistication of the ROVs and the mission requirements.

The 2015 MATE International ROV competition will take place June 25-27 at Memorial Universtity and the Institute for Ocean Technology in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, CANADA.


Congratulations to Carl Hayden High School and Mary Mazzio on their Underwater Dreams documentary! Carl Hayden was the EXPLORER class winner in 2004, when the ROV competition was just two years old. We're happy to see Lorenzo, Oscar, Cristian and Luis (and their robot Stinky) getting recognized by NPR, MSNBC, the Colbert Report and more. We continue to wish them the best and we are excited to see how the documentary is raising awareness about the importance of STEM education and making sure that it's accessible to ALL students. We thank them for calling attention to this and for highlighting the MATE ROV Competition!

Pacific NW Challenge Results!

Thank you all so much for making this a fantastic regional. A huge thanks to all of our volunteers, sponsors, mentors and parents for all of their support. All the hard work paid off and it was great to see what each team came up with to accomplish the missions. We hope to see all of you back for our regional contest next year on May 9th, 2015! Keep looking at our webpage for updates on registration (open Februrary 2015) and workshops. And don't forget to follow AMNO & CO during the International competition June 26th - 28th.

-Wes, Rick and Fritz

Results of the 9th Annual Pacific Northwest Regional MATE ROV Challenge:

Scout Class:
1st - FHMS (Friday Harbor)
2nd - VulcanWerks (Kirkland)
3rd - Underwater Submarine Seals (South Whidbey Academy)
Best Team Spirit: Vulcanwerks

Navigator Class:
1st - Puget Sound Navigators (Columbia Virtual Academy, Freeland)
2nd - Team MEDUSA (SeaTech 4H Club, Mt. Vernon)
3rd - South Whidbey Academy (Langley)
Best Team Spirit: Pacific Olympians (Gig Harbor)

Ranger Class:
1st - AMNO & CO (Seattle) (moving on to International Competition in Alpena, MI)
2nd - Atlantis ROV (Columbia Virtual Academy)
3rd - Europa II (SeaTech 4H)
Best Team Spirit: Hydro, Inc. (Gig Harbor)

Explorer Class Qualified for International Competition:
UW ROV Team, "Orcus"
SeaTech 4H Team, "Sigma VII"
British Columbia Institute of Technology, "DEEP Robotics"

All-around Rookie of the Year Team: Octopi Inkorporated (Issaquah)
Lee McNeil Mentorship Award:  Mary Chang, AMNO & CO ROV Club, Seattle, WA

One of our divers, Jeremy Freestone, made a great video from his perspective, check it out at:  http://vimeo.com/94813329  - thanks Jeremy!
One of our judges, Rick Rudnick, took some great stills of the event and awards ceremony and posted them to: https://www.flickr.com/gp/124087441@N03/nU7dSd/ - thanks Rick!

Competition Day Schedule!

I'm sorry this hasn't gotten out sooner but here you'll find the general schedule for tomorrow, the final schedule will be distributed to you at check-in tomorrow morning. The biggest change from previous years is that all classes will start their missions at 10:30AM!

Note some key times:
0745 - 0845 - Check in - Lobby
0800-1000 - Safety checks at your work table
0900-0945 - Judges and CEO/Captain's meeting - ALL Classes
1030 - 1100 - ALL CLASSES - first round of competition

We will have a repair-station available this year courtesy of Paul and Brett from Emerald Harbor Marine. Paul ran the repair-station at the Internationals last year so has experience.

While we will NOT have a mission station available for practice, we WILL have two 12V batteries and an area at the end of the 3m deep pool available for vehicle ballasting and trials.

When you check in, your team will receive 3 things:
- a red-flag to raise at your work-station when you're ready for your safety inspection
- a special armband for your CEO (or team leader) to wear to identify her/him as such - (only CEOs/team-leaders may discuss challenge issues with the judges)
- a list of all the ship-wrecks that COULD be on the pool floor for your class of competition
Be sure those are kept carefully - we will need the first two BACK at the end of the day.

Be sure to be at your station ON TIME. If there is a team still de-mobilizing at the station, please be patient and let them clear the area. Then ask the Pool-station judges if it's OK for you to move in. Also be sure your CEO/team-leader introduces her/himself to the judges and discusses when the 5-min mobilization time will start being recorded. For Engineering Evaluations, please be AT YOUR WORK TABLE at that time - they will come find you. Your POSTER should be prominently displayed on your work table at ALL TIMES as the judges may come at any time to read/review that. Please give me a call if you have any questions! Good luck and see you all tomorrow! Wes

Registration is Closed!

Wow, we have had a huge response to registration! Thank you all for your interest, we have maxed out our competition, 16 RANGER, 8 NAVIGATOR and 16 SCOUT class teams! Please let me know if you would like teams to be placed on a waiting list. And conversely, if your team is not going to make the competition, let me know ASAP. We have lots of teams who are champing at the bit to compete and the earlier we we can place them the better.

The mentorship workshop that was planned for this weekend has been postponed until this summer when we will hold a two day ROV Summit. The mentorship workshop will be rolled into that, please keep checking back here for additional information.

Mentors, be sure all of your students have registered with your team. You must send them an email through your team portal. The supplied email template will have a link for your students to follow to register. Please do this ASAP! Registration will officially close down on April 18th and students will not be able to register after that. Registration is required for participation. If you need additional information on how to register your students, please click here.

Teams, be sure that you are following all specifications designed for your class. NAVIGATOR teams, be doubly sure to read your amperage requirements (15 amps)!

All teams will be required to submit a Company Spec Sheet and a Systems Integration Diagram (SIDS). These are required by May 1st! Please see the Safety Summary for information regarding the SIDS.

Be sure to keep on top of the important dates coming up!

Good luck!

Registration is Rapidly Filling Up!!!

Hi Mentors! If you haven't done so already, you really need to register your teams! We are limited to 16 Ranger, 8 Navigator and 16 Scout teams. There are only a few slots left so if you were waiting to register please do so ASAP! There is a waitlist, please let me know if you would like to be on that (especially for third teams). Registration will officially close April 18th so please register before then!

Students, you must register with your team in order to participate. Your mentor will send an email with links allowing you to register. If you have not received that email from your mentor, please have them contact us.

Students and Mentors, please read all the information here before registering.

Registration is Open!

If you haven't seen it already, registration is open for the PNW Regional! Please start here http://www.marinetech.org/registration/ and read this carefully before proceeding http://www.marinetech.org/all-events-registration/

If you competed last year and your team was in the bottom third of RANGER or the top third of SCOUT you are eligible for the NAVIGATOR class. You must contact me before you can register for that. If you have a team that wants to be NAVIGATOR, please let me know. Since this is a new class for us, we are trying to judge the interest before opening the floodgates.

Please remember, we are limiting registration to two teams per organization per class. If you have more than two teams, please let me know and they'll go on a wait list.

Good luck and thanks for all your patience with this!

Important Dates

Okay some important dates are coming your way! All of the workshops/events will be held at the UW Oceanography Department (except the Regional/International challenge).

Date Event RSVP?
March 8th Competition Review No
March 29th Waterproof Cameras Workshop Yes
April 5th Mentorship Workshop Yes
May 1st Company Spec Sheets and SIDs Due --
May 10th PNW Regional ROV Challenge Yes
June 26-28 International ROV Competition Yes

March 8th - Competition Review - 10:00AM - 1:00PM (No lunch provided)
Here we will go over the missions using actual props and answer any questions you may have regarding the competition format and mission judging/scoring. No RSVP required, please limit attendance to the team mentor and one captain per team. After 1:00pm we will have an optional ROV-in-a-Bag/Pufferfish demo in our saltwater pool. Remember the pool may be available for team practices, contact Rick Rupan with questions.

March 29th - Waterproof Cameras Workshop - 10:00AM - 1:00PM (Lunch Provided)
With this workshop we hope to show mentors how create robust waterproof cameras. This workshop is limited to mentors only and they will go home with a camera they waterproofed themselves. We will also discuss camera placement and signal handling. Please RSVP before March 24th.

POSTPONED April 5th - Mentorship Workshop - 10:00AM - 1:00PM (Lunch Provided)
This workshop is intended for new mentors or parents looking to get involved. We will have a panel of our most experienced mentors for a Q&A period as well as tips and hints to building a sustainable program. After lunch is an optional review of video from past ROV competitions. The workshop will be rolled into a summer ROV Summit sometime after the International competition. Please check back for more information.

May 1st - Company Spec Sheets and SIDs Due
These documents are very important for juding and safety. Please be sure to follow all instructions in the Mission Tasks Document for your class. The SIDs information can be found in the Tasks Document and the Safety Summary. Your team will not pass safety inspection without the Systems Integration Document.

May 10th - Pacific Northwest Regional Challenge! - All Day (Lunch provided for competitors and coaches)
You know what this is! Our regional will be held at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way. Many emails will be sent out before then, please keep an eye out for them. Also, please remember if you are planning on entering the Navigator class to contact one of us first! We are extremely limited on space and have restricted entry to that class.

Intro ROV Workshop - Jan. 18th

As noted in the last article here, there was supposed to be an Introductory workshop taking place today. That workshop has been postponed to January 18th. We really hope that you will be able to make it. Please take a look at the information below and RSVP as soon as possible. There is a flyer attached to this page, please feel free to pass this along to any mentors who may be interested. Additionally, we hope to run a more advanced workshop and would like to hear from you what topics should be included. Our current ideas include waterproofing cameras and pulse width modulated circuit boards for controlling motor speeds. Use the contact form to get in touch with us.

Date:  Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014
Where:  University of Washington, School of Oceanography
Ocean Sciences Bldg. Rm. 425
Map link:  http://www.washington.edu/maps/?l=OCN
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00p.m. Lunch Provided.

Cost: $25.00

7 Hours Clock:  $14.00
  (PSESD - applied for)

STEM activities:

Design & build an underwater Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Wire a control box to control your ROV
Electrical Safety
Trouble shoot and redesign
Suggested lessons to engage your students
Managing an ROV team, and ongoing support

You will take home your own ROV ($200.00 value).

The season starts!

We are so excited to start this year's competition! We hope you have started thinking about your teams, the missions and how your ROVs are going to come together! Be sure to check out the Missions, they're already posted!

Successful Competition!

Wow! Thank you all so much for participating in the 2013 PNW Regional competition! It was a really great day with 15 RANGER and 17 SCOUT class teams participating. Our volunteers were really impressed with the skill and sportsmanship coming from each team member, you guys made this day so much fun! We want to be sure to thank those volunteers, without them we would never be able to pull this off. Thank you for being flexible and understanding and for giving up a Saturday from your busy schedules. We also want to thank each of the mentors and their parental support. Students, go thank your mentors and your parents, they were a huge part in making your team a success.

We want to remind you all that we are the hosts for the MATE International ROV competition this year. This is the first year it has been held in our area and we are very excited to see how the best ROVs from around the world will fare in our pool. Please come and watch the competition, doors are open to all. Students, there will be a career fair with many big names from the marine technology sector. This would be a great time to network and meet these companies for possible summer internships, scholarships and future employment. Please come by and check it out!

Finally, what you all really came here to see, the result of the PNW Regional Competition!

Lee McNeil Mentoring Award: Marla Crouch, Maywood Middle School, Issaquah, WA
This award goes to a mentor who embodies drive, leadership and engaging STEM education for the betterment of their students.

Scout Class
        1st: Robofresh, Goodman Middle School, Gig Harbor, WA
        2nd: Aquatic Robotics Scout, Harbor Ridge Middle School, Gig Harbor, WA
        3rd: FHMS ROV Scout, Friday Harbor Middle School, Friday Harbor, WA
        Best Poster: Robofresh, Goodman MS
        Best Team Spirit: OctoRoboto Scout, Learning Access Institute, Seattle, WA

Ranger Class
        1st: Atlantis Inc, Columbia Virtual Academy, Whidbey, WA
        2nd: AMNO & Co., AMNO ROV Club, Seattle, WA
        3rd: Europa, SeaTech 4H Club, Mt. Vernon, WA
        Best Poster: Hydro Inc, Peninsula High School, Gig Harbor, WA
        Best Team Spirit: OctoRoboto Ranger, Learning Access Institute, Seattle, WA

Rookie of the Year: VulcanWerks, VulcanWerks Robotics Club, Kirkland, WA
Best Bang for the Buck: Aquatic Robotics Scout, Harbor Ridge MS (219 pts for $99.44)

SCOUT Class   RANGER Class
Place Score Team   Place Score Team
1 223.5 RoboFresh   1 492.5 Atlantis Inc
2 218.8 Aquatic Robotics   2 480 AMNO & CO
3 207 FHMS ROV   3 462.5 Europa
4 198 Andrew's Jackets   4 432.5 Eurybia
5 195 VulcanWerks   5 422.5 NORD ROV
6 193 Science Is Us   6 345 Hydro Inc
7 137.5 MIll Creek SeaDogs   7 325 Royal Rangers
8 132 FWPA Tridents   8 280 P.A.S.T.A.
9 127.5 Thunder Dwarves   9 277.5 Clearwater Oceanography
9 127.5 WES, Inc.   10 255 OctoRoboto
11 113.5 Water Heat   11 252.5 TRA (Tacoma Robotics Alliance)
12 111.5 Octopi Inkorporated   12 225 Rangers of the Deep
13 106 OctoRoboto Scouts   13 215 The Claw
14 104.5 Falcons of the Deep   14 162.5 Clover Park High School Robotics
15 97 The Doctopi Complex   15 142.5 Stewart Underwater Robotic Intelligence
16 88 The Wookies        
17 86.5 Return of the Night Shadow