2021 Machine Learning - Computer Coding Challenge!


The MATE ROV Competition is pleased to announce the 2021 Machine Learning - Computer Coding Challenge


June 7, 2021 - Computer Coding Challenge FINAL Round


Teams Advancing to the Final Round

  • Glaucus - Hong Kong, SAR
  • Made in Alexandria - Egypt
  • RoboTech - Egypt
  • RoboTech Rangers - Egypt
  • UW ROV - USA


May 18, 2021 - Computer Coding Challenge Round #3


Teams Advancing to Round #3

  • Glaucus - Hong Kong, SAR
  • Macau Pui Ching - Macau
  • Made in Alexandria - Egypt
  • RoboTech - Egypt
  • RoboTech Rangers- Egypt
  • Sailfish ROV - Egypt
  • UW ROV - USA


APRIL 6, 2021 - Computer Coding Challenge Round #2

WARM UP: Computer Coding Challenge Round #1


Your mission: Harness the power of cloud computing to identify and quantify organisms in benthic video transects. Start with pre-built Artificial Intelligence models like Microsoft Computer Vision and Video Indexer OR take it to the next level by building your own machine learning (aka coding) models.

The MATE ROV Competition and Microsoft Azure are challenging students from around the globe to use the Microsoft Azure AI Platform to create a computer program that is able to evaluate organisms in a video transect. Annotated benthic video transects will be provided to teams for practice purposes. For the challenge, teams will be required to create a computer program that analyzes a video transect and outputs data (answers!) based on a specific task. Specific tasks may include having the program:

  • Quantify the numbers of a species seen throughout the entire video
  • Quantify the numbers of different species seen at one moment
  • Determine the size of an organism
  • Highlight a species every time it is encountered in the video
  • Determine the number of times a designated species is encountered in the video
  • Differentiate between an organism and debris/trash

This is in the spirit of an open hackathon. Teams will be provided several video transects, each with an assigned task. Pick your preferred platform, libraries, & developer tools – it’s all up to you with the distributed computing scale of Azure. Teams that participate will be judged on the accuracy of their counts or analysis.

Practice video transects and annotation:  2021 Azure Practice Video 1 - Video 1 Annotations
All videos are courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.  Please see the Materials Use Agreement.

For this practice video, teams should consider attempting all of the specific tasks suggested in the above bullet points, but – HINT! - especially bullets 1, 3, 4, and 5. Additional video transects will be linked to this page for additional practice.

Participation in this challenge is OPTIONAL, but it is intended to foster creativity, develop skills for “the future of work,” and provide a new, fun approach to competition tasks. It is a way for teams to learn and grow, rather than compete for maximum points.

Each participating team member may register for Azure for Students to get $100 cloud credit plus free developer tools like Visual Studio Code and Python libraries for data science.

Are there prizes for this challenge?

In addition to learning / applying your career-building skills in Cloud Computing – the #1 in-demand “hard” skill according to LinkedIN – the MATE ROV Competition will provide prizes for the top teams that compete in this challenge.

Timeline and Scoring

The opening, “warm-up” round of the challenge will be launched in early March. All competing teams will be provided with a video transect, a task, and a deadline. It is anticipated that all teams will advance from the warm-up round to the second round. From there, teams will be evaluated on the accuracy of their program to complete the given task(s). The top teams will advance from the second round to the third round then to the fourth and final round, which will take place in June or July. Teams will be provided with a new video transect and/or specific task(s) each round.

How do you get started? 

Submit your intent to participate in the 2021 Machine Learning - Computer Coding Challenge ASAP.

How do you access Microsoft Azure?

Start with Azure for Students, which provides $100 cloud credit for students that verify with their accredited school’s email address. Enrolling does not require a credit card. There is no obligation to pay for Azure in the future. If you are unable to verify online because your school is not supported, contact MATE for a one-time code.

Each student in the project team may obtain Azure for Students. For example, if you have a team of 7 students, this team can collectively receive $700 worth of credit but each $100 increment cannot be combined into one Azure account. But one student can give access to other team members through role-based access control so practically this means that students can experiment independently and then contribute to one designated student’s account (representing the team’s contribution).

Teams are not required to use the Azure for Students offer to participate. Your team can choose to pay for additional Azure credit. For example, if your team has been sponsored by other organization or group, they may choose to support you by paying for Azure independently.

What technical support and resources are available?  

New to cloud development?  Start with Microsoft Learn for Students which offers helpful tutorials in data science and cloud app development. Looking for something specific? Go to the complete Azure technical docs. Or try these specifically: 


Please consult the documents above. However, if you are stuck and need some help, post your questions on the Machine Learning Challenge forum located here: https://forums.marinetech2.org/viewforum.php?f=27.

HINT: For future rounds, check out Coral Morphologic