The Drone

An estimated 6000 working hours and 71 000 NOK/9000 USD were spent building Terrapin. In June 2017, Vortex NTNU was ready for the 2017 MATE ROV competition in Long Beach, California.


Terrapin is Vortex NTNU’s second ROV (and gets its name from the shape which makes it resemble a terrapin, a small freshwater turtle). It has eight thrusters which not only contribute to Terrapin’s stunning look, but more importantly gave it six degrees of freedom. In combination with the controller used for steering, this makes for a very intuitive driving experience. Four clamps are used to fasten the transparent cover which gives Terrapin its characteristic look, a design which provided easy access to the electronics aboard. 

Terrapin featured a new and improved camera system.

Competition Results

In the competition in Long Beach, Vortex NTNU placed 13th out of 25 contenders in the Explorer class. The highlights this year were the technical documentation, marketing and safety categories, all of which Vortex performed well in.

Vortex received 50 points for safety, which was the highest score awarded in that category. It is also worth noticing the great improvement in marketing. The team went from getting the lowest number of points in 2016 to scoring in the top ten on the marketing display in 2017.

Although the team put in an immense effort during the last few days in Long Beach, Vortex NTNU struggled with technical problems, and ended up with a low score on the product demonstration.

Despite this, the strong performances in other categories led to an overall improvement compared to 2016, both in total points and placement in the competition.

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