2021 MATE ROV Competition Season Q & A

Q:  Have you finalized the dates and location of the 2021 MATE World Championship?

A:  Not yet!  We are working to secure dates during the first week of August – again, in an effort to put more of a buffer between the event and the virus (and to allow more time for vaccinations).  We had hoped to lock in the dates and location by the end of February but need more time.  Thank you for your continued patience!  

Q:  Since you are pushing out the date of the World Championship, are you also pushing out the deadlines for things like the Fluid Power Quiz, video demonstrations, and document submission?

A:  Yes!  Please see the KEY DEADLINES document posted here.

Q:  Can you tell us more about the In-Person and Telepresence categories planned for the World Championship?

A: Yes!

  • IN-PERSON (for those teams that qualify and can/are willing to travel to the event)
  • TELEPRESENCE: Remotely Connecting to Your Competition Experience (for those teams that are not able to attend in person for whatever reason - travel restrictions, concerns for COVID, etc.)
    • Engineering and Communication
      • Technical reports and company spec sheets – submitted in advance, as normal
      • Engineering presentations – via Zoom (or other video conference platform)
      • Marketing displays – submitted in advanced as pdfs
    • Product Demonstration and Safety Inspections

The initial registration for the World Championship will NOT differentiate between these two categories.  Once teams pass the initial EXPLORER class demonstration requirement and RANGER class video demonstration – or advance from their regional competition – they will be invited to register to participate in the World Championship and at that time will need to select one (but not both) of these categories.  Please see the UPDATED KEY DEADLINES document for additional information.  

Q:  Will awards be presented in each of these two overarching categories?

A:  Yes!  We will present awards in in each of these overarching categories.  

Q:  What about regional events? 

A:  Some regional coordinators have decided to cancel events this spring or to hold them “off-cycle” in the fall.  Others are preparing to implement one of the three Event Scenarios (In-Person, Remote, or Virtual) that were presented in our January 2021 MATE ROV Competition Season Q&A update.

Please visit your regional web page or the registration page for more information on plans for your regional.  

Q:  What if my regional has cancelled its event this spring?

A:  If you are a RANGER or EXPLORER class team and your regional is cancelled, please contact MATE HQ to let us know of your interest and intention to still compete.  We will provide you with a code that will allow you to register directly with the World Championship Qualifier.  If you qualify, you will be invited to advance to the event; qualification will be similar to the current EXPLORER class demonstration requirement and RANGER class video demonstration.

SCOUT and NAVIGATOR class teams may be able to join another, nearby regional event.  Please contact MATE HQ if you are interested in discussing this possibility.

Q:  How will you ensure the health and safety of all participants?

A:  We have developed a HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE FOR IN-PERSON EVENTS informed by government authorities and health organizations.  

Q:  What if the situation gets worse?

A:  We are prepared to cancel the World Championship and regional events.

Q:  What is the status of the 2021 MATE ROV Competition VR World:  Virtual Reality for Social Engagement? 

A:  We’ve been working closing with our partners at the National Center for Autonomous Technologies (NCAT) on the 2021 MATE ROV Competition VR World:  Virtual Reality for Social Engagement – the MATE ROV Competition Welcome Center will launch soon!  We are populating the Welcome Center with orientation and onboarding resources, a “gallery” of slideshows and videos, an aquarium that highlights the ROV simulator (see the next question below), interactive activities to engage visitors, an “exhibit area” for sponsors and supporters, and more.  

We’re also working on a space to house “workstations” of the teams participating in the MATE World Championship.  Teams will have the opportunity to submit “assets” (see UPDATED KEY DEADLINES) to populate their workstations – and earn bonus points!  We’ll post the specifics about these team assets soon so that teams have time to prepare.  

Other spaces in the MATE ROV Competition VR World will include a Pool and an Auditorium where we plan to broadcast the livestream from the 2021 MATE World Championship.  Imagine your avatar in the pool’s bleachers watching a monitor that is broadcasting video live from the pool deck and the underwater mission stations – or taking in a broadcast of the Awards Ceremony in the Auditorium.

We’re using AltspaceVR as our platform, so consider setting up an account – and your avatar!  It’s free, although you must be 13 years of age or older to download and use AltspaceVR (please see the Microsoft Altspace VR Terms of Service).  All of the spaces that will make up the MATE ROV Competition VR World can be accessed using a VR headset or in 2D using a keyboard and mouse to navigate.

The MATE ROV Competition website will also include a VR World landing area with orientation and onboarding materials, links to the various spaces within AltpaceVR, and additional information and resources.

In addition to broadcasting the MATE World Championship livestream within the VR environment, we also plan to share it via Twitch, so there is no requirement to enter the virtual environment if you’re not able to or comfortable doing so.

Q:  What is the status of the ROV Simulator? 

A:  It’s just about done!  Our partners at NCAT and Clemson University are finalizing the “build,” which was recently renamed Coral in Crisis: Contain the COTS (Crown-of-Thorns-Sea-Stars)!   This ROV simulator will provide teams with an opportunity to practice their piloting skills while increasing their understanding of the impact that COTS have on coral reefs.

Coral in Crisis:  Contain the COTS (Crown-of-Thorns-Sea-Stars)! is slated for launch in mid-to-late March. We anticipate holding an event in the MATE ROV Competition VR World Welcome Center space to highlight and promote the simulator.  Stay tuned for more information!

Q:  Is it too late to register for the SATELLITE CHALLENGES?

A:  No!  These are separate from the MATE ROV Competition and open to ALL students around the globe! 

Q:  Anything else? 

A:  Please also see previously posted 2021 MATE ROV Competition Season Q&A updates for more information (October/January). 

If you have specific logistics or event questions, please send an e-mail to MATE HQ or contact your regional coordinator.  Please post any technical, specifications, safety, or rules questions to the MATE Forums

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