Harrington Middle School - HMS SeaBots (RANGER)


Team Name: HMS SeaBots (RANGER)

Organization: Harrington Middle School

Competition Class: RANGER

Regional: Pennsylvania

Company Spec Sheet

What were the other options for your team’s name?  If there was only ever the one option for your name, what is the origin of your team’s name?

HMS SeaBots is an inherited ROV team name from a Harrington Middle School STEM class ten years ago.

What word/phrase is most often heard when your team is working on your ROV?

”Stability and buoyancy”. These theories were a constant in our conversations this year. We had multiple tools to consider, and each tool’s placement affected the weight distribution and
ultimately the ROV’s buoyancy.

Which job or thing your team has to do is the hardest? Why?

The most challenging issue that we faced was how to use image recognition to determine the state of the coral colony. We would take pictures of the coral and try to use it in our tests but there were many different problems like the way we took the picture or the lighting of the picture. The process was very tedious because each time we had discovered a new method, we had to learn and get familiar with it, apply it to our own needs, and then try to optimize it. To try and solve this problem, we wrote pseudo-code, created flowcharts, and tried to look at how other people used our methods in different scenarios. After all of this, we created our own program to solve the task we needed to do. A problem we encountered while doing this was the fact that the program was inconsistent. Sadly, we weren’t able to fix this so we couldn’t complete the coral colony task. But as SeaBots, we thrived to learn from our errors. Although we weren’t able to fully complete the task, we learned various skills along the way. Our coding skills massively improved with these challenging tasks and we are proud to have faced such a challenging issue and learn so much from it.

What is your team's go-to snack food(s)?

Thin Mint cookies and Bang energy drinks

What was the most celebrated/happiest/best/epic moment of success making your ROV?

Our most epic moment was when our SoftEs figured out the photomosaic. After the prop, camera, and everything was set up, we did a mini test run of the task, and it was a huge success!

What was your most memorable challenge/complete fail in building your ROV? 

Our most epic fail was when we initially tested the control box. After months of working on it, our electrical engineers managed to finish their greatest achievement. The primary test of the control box sadly failed because we accidentally skipped a page in the instructional manual!

What "theme" – the scientific or physical problem to be addressed with an ROV task – would you most like to see included in future competition missions?

A future theme could be an extension of the 2020 theme: we could consider microplastics. As we know, our oceans have been affected by humankind’s vast use and accumulation of plastic, harming marine life and many ecosystems. Fishing gear, plastic bottles, and food packaging all end up in the ocean and are being broken down into tiny pieces called microplastics. Microplastic pollution cleanup using ROVs would be a great competition theme to bring awareness about the microplastics that end up in our oceans.

What innovation do you think would completely change how ROVs solve problems in the future?

No answer given

If you could swap ROVs with any team – past or present – what team would it be?

We pride ourselves in our own work and therefore wouldn’t want to trade our ROV. Instead, we hope to learn from our mistakes to create the most effective ROV.

If your team had/has one, what is your team’s “theme song”?

”Final Countdown” by Europe: