Socastee High students win robotics competition

Socastee, SC - From Horry County Schools:

SOCASTEE, SC - Socastee High School won the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Carolina Regional Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) competition, earning a spot in this year's international competition to be hosted by the University of Hawaii at the Hilo campus in June.

The international competition draws top robotics teams from around the world to participate in an underwater robotics competition. The competition focuses practical usage of ROVs in the sciences and industry.

As part of this competition, students are tasked with designing, creating, and operating an underwater robot with the purpose of accomplishing specific tasks modeling ROV usage in and around the Loihi seamount in Hawaii.  Students design, create and operate their ROVs on their own, with mentors and specialists in the marine sciences and robotics fields.

In addition to the design and robotics aspects of the competition, students are also required to generate technical reports and present their work to a panel of professionals who represent science, exploration, government, and industry.  Students are evaluated on their understanding of the engineering behind their ROV and practical applications of ROVs for research involving the Loihi seamount.

Students involved with this year's team include pilots Stephanie Hetzer and Douglas Warstler, engineers Meg Oshima and Kirtan Patel, and team captain Hunter Robertson.

Over the course of the project, students have learned to develop scale models, solder and waterproof electrical fittings, work with buoyancy, and fabricate and troubleshoot mechanical fittings designed to accomplish specific tasks assigned by MATE organizers.

Students have until June 22 to refine their designs to better accomplish their tasks before shipping out to compete against the best teams in the world.