Palos Verdes High School - Palos Verdes Institute of Technology ROV
Team Name: Palos Verdes Institute of Technology ROV
Organization: Palos Verdes High School
Competition Class: RANGER
Regional: Southern California - Long Beach
Every year, our team likes to have all of our members bond through different, fun activities. This year, our team decided to go to lunch together and do an escape room. At the escape room, we split off into two teams and were given the challenge to finish our escape room in one hour. Both of our teams were successful and completed the rooms in the allotted time. This activity not only tested our ability as a team to complete difficult puzzles, but also helped our team bond. Thus, creating the great chemistry that we have today.
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?
Our team name originates from our school’s first competition robotics team, which competed in the DARPA Grand Challenge in 2004 and 2005. They were excited to be competing against MIT, and inspired to name themselves similarly, “PV-IT.” Since then all of the engineering teams at our school have been a part of one program, the Palos Verdes Institute of Technology (PVIT). Pronounced “Pi - vit.”.
What word/phrase is most often heard when your team is working on your ROV?
“Upload to Dropbox”
Which job or thing your team has to do is the hardest? Why?
We would say that coding the ROV is the hardest task due to the fact that this last year all of our strong programmers graduated. Some would argue that making connections in the brain is more difficult but being able to code the brain takes a certain set of skills that I feel like we were lacking this last year. The coding becomes very complex when one realizes that we have to limit the power of our thrusters while also giving them power in proportion to the direction that they are facing due to the vectored layout. This leads to some tricky math and coding to try to achieve maximum power without breaking things.
What is your team's go-to snack food(s)?
Chip snack packs and a variety of spicy snacks
What was the most celebrated/happiest/best/epic moment of success making your ROV?
This year, one of the happiest/best/ most celebrated moments of success was when we ran a continuity test for the tether we newly made this year to check if we had soldered the correct wires together and if the connections were good, and all the of the wires and connections passed. This was a reliving and epic moment because a completely new electric team, with minimal prior experience, was tasked with building the tether this year and there were many mistakes made a long the way, allowing us to learn from them and finally create a properly working and functioning tether.
What was your most memorable challenge/complete fail in building your ROV?
The most memorable challenge/complete fail in building our teams ROV was when physically working on the ROV, one of our teammates got an open cut in their hand from a pair of scissors. It was challenging because this year nothing like that has happened yet. Although we did put our heads together and all helped to safely get her to stay calm till her parents arrived, we followed all the right precautions and couldn’t have handled this challenge better.
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?
We think it would be cool if we had more (semi)automatic functions. Another thing I would love to see is the ROV helping to fight climate change around the world, or disaster relief.
What innovation do you think would completely change how ROVs solve problems in the future?
A technology that would completely change how ROVs solve problems in the future would be being able to control the rov with your mind instead of a remote. Basically, using brain waves and signals from your brain to control the robot. It would extend the imitations of what rovs are capable of and increase the efficiency of the robot.
If you could swap ROVs with any team – past or present – what team would it be?
We pick Dr. Robert Ballard and his ROVs Hercules and Argus. Hercules is the smaller ROV, but still bigger than our ROV and tethered to Argus which is huge, like the size of an SUV, and tethered to Dr. Ballard’s exploration ship, the Nautilus. A few of our team members met both Dr. Ballard and his ROV pilot at a local exhibit. We saw the two ROV’s up close. They were amazing!
If your team had/has one, what is your team’s “theme song”?
"Team" by Lorde: