Seaport-Themed Underwater Robotics Competition Heads to Long Beach City College

ROV StudentsStarting Friday, Long Beach City College will host a three-day international student water robotics competition during which over 60 teams will test underwater robots they designed and built in scenarios that this year focus on using technology for today’s seaports, organizers announced.

The Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s 16th annual International ROV Competition will feature hundreds of students from K-12, community colleges and universities representing teams from around the world.

“Also known as remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), these robots are the vehicles the MATE Center uses to get students excited and engaged in science, technology, engineering and math while exposing them to related careers and how this technology is used in the real world,” organizers said in a release.

As part of the competition, students are challenged to design and build underwater robots to complete workplace scenarios and are tasked with creating mock companies to get them to think like entrepreneurs and work together to “manufacture, market and sell” their products—their ROVs, the release stated.

“Not only do students develop technical skills as they engineer the robots, they also gain leadership, project management and communication skills as they prepare technical reports and poster displays and deliver presentations that are evaluated by judges from the professional marine technology world,” officials stated.

The competition this year will focus on the role ROVs play in securing the health and safety of today’s seaports and will encourage students to think about how this technology can help lay the groundwork for “port cities of the future,” according to organizers.

Students will act like port managers and operate their ROVs to handle tasks like finding cargo containers that fell overboard, constructing an underwater tunnel and cleaning up contaminated sediment. However, instead of piloting the vehicles in sometimes confined and precarious port conditions, they will safely work in LBCC’s Viking Aquatics pool.

Many of the teams participated in 30 regional competitions that took place throughout the U.S. and in countries like the United Kingdom, Russia, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and the Middle East to qualify for this event.

The competition is organized by MATE and supported by the Marine Technology Society’s ROV Committee. The competition also receives support from the National Science Foundation and other technology and education related organizations.

For more information on the competition, which takes place June 23-25 at LBCC, located at 4901 East Carson Street, click here

Above, left image courtesy of MATE.



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