June 2004
Hydroid Inc. Sponsors Falmouth Academy’s Efforts in the 3rd Annual MATE ROV Competition

Hydroid Inc. is very pleased to sponsor a team of young inventors in this year’s MATE ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) competition. Falmouth Academy (Falmouth, MA) fielded a team of four talented seniors, which included Rachel Allen, Mike Kowalski, Oliver Moore, and Joey Smith. Over the course of the 2003-2004 school year, the team worked to design and build an ROV to take part in this year’s MATE competition.

MATE’s regional competition was held on May 8th at the University of Rhode Island. Out of the ten teams at the competition, the top three go on to the University of Santa Barbara, in California, to compete in the national competition.

The competition is based on a mock-up reef, through which the ROVs must fly in order to complete the 7 missions. These missions included the retrieval of samples, finding specific items within the reef and sunken U-boat, and the deployment of tags and patches. Each mission was related to the story that guided the competition: A mission to the Florida Keys to explore a sunken U-boat from World War II and retrieve a tow fish used in previous scientific explorations. While the competition takes place in a pool, and the environment is entirely man-made, the scenario was designed to provide high school and college students with experience building and operating ROVs in a “real world” situation.

The team from Falmouth Academy created a vehicle that was 24 in long and 15 in high, with four thrusters that have Maxon DC motors. The ROV uses its two function manipulator to complete the retrieval and deployment tasks, and is controlled by two of the team members, who navigate using the view from the camera placed on the front of the vehicle.
We are very pleased to announce that the Falmouth Academy team placed second in the

New England Regional competition, which means they’ll be heading to California for the national competition June 25-27. The team is currently working on modifying the vehicle to improve its ability to complete the missions. They are creating circuits for the motor controls that will allow them to control the vehicle with a joystick, and are making a new chassis that will be lighter, smaller, and stronger.

In addition to working on the ROV for their June 24 departure date, the seniors will also be graduating on June 12. Next year, Joey will be going to college at Bucknell University, Mike is heading out to Carnegie Mellon University, and Rachel and Oliver are going to Williams College.

Best of luck to all of our talented seniors in their upcoming competition, as well as their future endeavors.

For further information contact Kevin McCarthy, Vice President of Marketing at Hydroid at Tel 508-563-6565, e-mail [email protected].

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