Ensuring Public Safety – Dam Inspection and Repair

  • Inspect the foundation of the dam
    Identify and count the number cracks
    o Gather information about the size of the cracks
    o Map the location of the cracks
  • Deploy a secondary, micro-ROV from the primary ROV to inspect the inside of a drain pipe for indicators of possible dam failure
    o Identify areas of muddy water flow
  • Insert grout into voids underneath the dam
  • Inspect and repair trash rack
    o Remove the damaged screen of the trash rack
    o Install a new screen

Maintaining Healthy Waterways

  • Monitor water quality
    o Measure the water temperature
    o Measure the pH of a water sample
  • Determine habitat diversity
    o Lift a rock from the bottom
    o Examine the benthic species underneath rock
    o Use a handbook to determine the number and type of benthic species
  • Record the date, time, temperature, pH, and species diversity on a data sheet
  • Transport and release trout fry
  • Restore fish habitat
    o Remove degraded rubber tire(s)
    o Install new fish/reef ball(s)

Preseving History

  • Recover the Civil War era cannon
    o Prior to the competition: 
    Determine the lift capability of your ROV
    o At to the competition: 
    Calculate the amount of force needed to lift the cannon
    Calculate the volume of the cannon
    Determine the composition (specific gravity) of the cannon
    Use the cannon's casting mark to identify the build location and build date
    Consult a handbook to determine the composititon
    Determine if the ROV has enough thrust to lift the cannon
    o Return the cannon to the surface side of the pool*
  • Mark the location of metal cannon shells
    o Identify the location of metal cannon shells
    o Place markers at the cannon shell locations

*Companies may return the cannon to the surface, side of the pool by any means they wish, with the exception of lifting and recovering the cannon manually. No team member can physically lift or pull the cannon to the surface.


What follows is a summary of the electrical and fluid power requirements for the EXPLORER class.  The complete design and building specifications will be included within the competition manual.

NOTE:  Watch for new safety requirements and additional, detailed electrical specifications within the competition manuals.

  • 48 volts, 30 amps DC. Conversion to lower voltages must be done on the ROV, not topside. 
  • Pneumatics and hydraulics are permitted provided that the team passes the MATE Fluid Power Safety Quiz and follows the specifications included within the competition manual.
  • Lasers are permitted provided that the team follows the specifications included within the competition manual.
  • Camera is required.
  • Depth requirement at the international competition:  4 meters.
  • Maximum size: 92 cm in diameter. Vehicles above this size will not be allowed to compete in the product demonstration. See below for additional details on size requirements.
  • Maximum weight: 35 kg. See below for additional details on weight requirements.



In light of some of the environments in which the ROVs will be operating, the Eastman Company has included an ROV size and weight requirement in the request for proposals (RFP). Smaller, lighter vehicles will be given special consideration and vehicles above a certain size and weight will not be considered.

All size and weight measurements will include the vehicle, all tools and components, and the tether. The topside control system and 1 meter of tether going into the control system will NOT be included in the length or weight measurement. To receive points for smaller sized vehicles, the two largest dimensions of the vehicle and tether must fit through a round hole of the following dimensions:

< 64cm diameter +10 < 20kg +10
64.1cm to 75cm +5 20.01kg to 28kg +5
75.1cm to 92cm +0 28.01kg to 35kg +0





Vehicles above 92 cm in diameter, or greater than 35 kg in weight, will not be allowed to compete in the product demonstration.

NOTE: In addition to the size and/or weight limitations described above, companies must be able to personally transport the vehicle and associated equipment to the product demonstration station and to the technical sales presentation room. The ROV systems must be capable of being safely hand launched.


Teams are permitted to use the materials of their choice provided that they are safe, will not damage or otherwise mar the competition environment, and are within the defined design and building specifications.

Teams are encouraged to focus on engineering a vehicle to complete the product demonstration tasks; when considering design choices, teams should ask themselves which one most efficiently and effectively allows them to solve the problem. Re-using components built by previous team members is permitted provided that the current team members evaluate, understand, and can explain their engineering and operational principles. Using or re-using commercial components is also permitted, provided that team members evaluate, understand, and can explain their engineering and operational principles. Teams will be questioned extensively on their overall design and component selections during their technical sales presentations.


The complete competition manual will be released by December 1st, 2018; teams have from that date until the regional events in the spring of 2019 to construct their vehicles and prepare the engineering and communication components (technical reports, engineering presentations, and poster displays).  Visit the MATE website at www.marinetech.org or request to be added to the MATE competition listserve to ensure a timely delivery.