Eastern Edge Robotics to Compete in MATE ROV Challenge

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Eastern Edge Robotics, a group composed of Memorial University students enrolled in science, technology, and engineering disciplines, will be competing for the 12th consecutive year in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s 13th Annual International Student ROV Competition.

Memorial’s team placed first in 2005, 2006 and 2008 during previous competitions.

Teams from around the globe will be in Alpena, Mich., from June 26-28 to showcase their remotely operated vehicles (ROV), a type of underwater robot designed to accomplish specific mission tasks related to real-life scenarios.

The theme for this year’s competition focuses on the importance of preserving shipwrecks in Shipwreck Alley, a stretch of treacherous water in North America’s Great Lakes. The competition primarily revolves around the role that ROVs play in the surveying, diagnostics, and preservation of wreck sites. Over two hundred ships are known to have been claimed in the area, resulting in it becoming one of North America’s best preserved collections of historically significant shipwrecks. The protection of these sites is important in the preservation of North Atlantic marine heritage.

Teams will participate in mission tasks, piloting their ROV to survey the site of a simulated shipwreck. Tasks include the evaluation of the wreck to determine the ship’s home port and the observation and collection of marine growth, among others. In addition to being evaluated for the mission, teams must also prepare an engineering report, make a presentation to a panel of judges and create a poster display. In order to accomplish this, teams are encouraged to replicate an engineering firm where students assume the roles of entrepreneurs.

“These projects allow students to gain hands on exposure to how projects are developed, managed and marketed in industry,” said Kyle Doody, CEO, Eastern Edge Robotics. “This provides a unique opportunity that will allow them to become an effective member of a team and excel in the workforce.”

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