The MATE international ROV competition provides an excellent framework for acquiring and utilizing competence from various fields of study. MATE challenges students to build an ROV capable of tackling specific tasks to compete against teams from around the world. The competition is not won entirely by the best performing ROV but rather an overall product in addition to technical reports, poster displays, and financial, sales, and engineering presentations.
The MATE competition challenges over 100 teams annually to take the leap of incorporating design and manufacturing, in conjunction with the marketing and sales aspects of engineering. Each team’s performance are evaluated by working professionals who serve as competition judges. The tasks given in the competition shall simulate the challenges that industry faces in the ocean workplace.
The competition is held annually at a new location to highlight different problem areas. This year the competition is located at Long Beach, California. Vortex NTNU will participate in the Explorer class - the highest and most demanding level of the MATE competition. Teams are given points based on performance at a series of events. The team with the highest score wins.
Project Terrapin has begun, and a team consisting of 18 eager students is starting fresh and eager for this year’s competition. The next ROV will be made from scratch and thereby contain the participating students' new ideas with the past year’s experiences.
The Port of Long Beach is one of the world’s busiest seaports. It is the second-busiest container port in the United States, after the Port of Los Angeles, which it connects to. With all of the activity and vessel traffic, the Port of Long Beach is not immune to accidents and pollution. Thousands of dollars have been spent on the removal and remediation of contaminated sites. Specifically, the port managers are in need of a robot that can:
The Maelstrom project was the first project for the newly started student organization, Vortex NTNU. After nearly 6000 working hours and an estimated cost of 16 200 USD, Maelstrom was born. Maelstrom is a technical and high functioning ROV, but with a simple square design. Due to lack of experience, Maelstroms components are highly excessive compared to its use. The thrusters and connectors can for instance withstand depths of 1000 meters.
NASA and Oceaneering Space Systems (OSS) have issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a first-of- its- kind, dual purpose and single launch remotely operated vehicle that can operate in the harsh environments of both the deep ocean and outer space. Specifically, scientists and engineers at these organizations are in need of a robot that can:
In the final tally, Vortex ended up placing 16th out of 31 teams, however the score distribution tells an interesting story. On the technical product demonstration, which had been the primary focus by far, the team managed a very respectable 10th place. On the other hand, the score sheet marked the effort dead last on marketing, an area where the team had no experience or expertise. All in all, the Vortex’ debut resulted in a decent performance with a clear potential for further improvement. The experience gained and the lessons learned provided the organization with a solid foundation for reaching the long-term ambition of being a top contender.