Several honors were awarded at the 2023 MATE ROV World Championship competition that took place at St. Vrain Valley School District, June 22-24, 2023.
For the second year in a row, Jesuit High School from Carmichael, CA took first place overall in the EXPLORER (advanced) class while Cabrillo College from Aptos, CA earned the top position in the PIONEER (advanced/intermediate) class. Finally, coming in first place for the RANGER (intermediate) class was the all-female team from St. Francis Catholic High School based out of Sacramento, CA.
Participants traveled to Longmont, Colorado from all over the globe, include 11 different countries and across 18 American states. A total of 59 teams competed, bringing roughly 750 team members and mentors, 150 volunteers, and 200 spectators, including family and friends. Those that were unable to attend were able to watch the competition live via Twitch.
This robotics competition is unique in that it takes place underwater. Student teams competed using remotely operated vehicles or ROVs – that they designed and built then presented to judges who represent science, technology, and engineering fields. Judges evaluated teams on the design, construction and performance of the ROVs; the students’ ability to communicate; and how they developed the ROVs.
“I am so impressed and proud of the students and the resilience, persistence, and collaboration they demonstrated. After witnessing their ingenuity, creativity, and working together to solve problems and accomplish tasks, I am inspired and encouraged that the future – our future and the future of our Big Blue Ocean Planet – are in good hands.” Stated Jill Zande, President and Executive Director of MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II).
This year’s competition challenged its community to engineer an ROV and the necessary sensors and tooling to, for example, produce clean energy by installing floating solar panels amongst offshore wind farms and ensure healthy environments by monitoring the recovery of seagrass beds – all simulated within the confines of a swimming pool. The overarching goal was to motivate students from around the world to understand and apply their creativity to innovating technology solutions to, as the U.N. states, “deliver, together, the ocean we need for the future we want.”
Organized by the MATE II, the competition is supported by the Marine Technology Society and its ROV Committee, the National Science Foundation and other technology and education-related organizations, including Schmidt Ocean Institute, the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Motorola Solutions, Oceaneering, Bulgin, Blue Robotics, foundry 10, Visit Kingsport, Niswonger Foundation, Teledyne Marine, and VideoRay. Local sponsors include Blue Trail Engineering and Visit Longmont Colorado.
To learn more about the World Championship and see a full list of award winners, visit materovcompetition.org/world-championship.
About the MATE ROV Competition
Established with funding from the National Science Foundation at Monterey Peninsula College in 1997, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center worked with the Marine Technology Society’s ROV Committee to create the MATE ROV Competition. The first event kicked off in 2001. Fifteen years later, MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) incorporated in the state of California as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in 2016. MATE II was founded to support and sustain ongoing education activities initiated at the MATE Center. To learn more, visit materovcompetition.org.