Francis W Parker Underwater Robotics Team Participates in International Competition

August 16, 2021

FWP ROV Team Swims to Success

At the beginning of August, the Francis W Parker ROV (Underwater Robotics) team took their ROV to the MATE ROV international competition in Johnson City, Tennessee. The competition consisted of three main areas of judging;


Product Demonstration – ROV performs tasks in the pool to score points
Marketing display – poster describing the attributes of both the team and the ROV
Engineering Presentation – Students present the engineering and design of the ROV to a panel of scientists.


The team was able to arrive at the international competition after scoring significant points in each of the three areas, and won the regional competition hosted by the Shedd Aquarium.


Francis Parker Robotics Team Poses with a Robot


The MATE ROV Competition is an underwater robotics (aka remotely operated vehicle or ROV) challenge that engages a global community of learners each year. This year, the competition is challenging students to tackle problems that impact the entire world: plastics clogging our rivers, lakes, waterways, and ocean from the surface to the bottom of the Mariana Trench; climate change raising ocean temperatures, affecting the health of coral reefs; and contaminants in our waterways. You can find these scenarios from Pennsylvania to Portugal, Florida to Australia, the Western Pacific to the Mid-Atlantic, and Indianapolis to Indonesia. We have even observed them just a few blocks away in Lake Michigan.


The ROV team began work on their ROV in the middle of April when the high school returned to in-person learning. In roughly 6 weeks (and despite some electrical set-backs) the team was able to develop a fully functioning ROV, build a marketing display and create an engineering presentation. The team named the ROV ‘Shelby’ – playing off the words ‘she’ll be’ (alluding to a mostly female team) and ‘shall be’ – meaning that the team shall be ready by competition time.


The team is looking forward to continuing their work this fall with a complete redesign of the ROV.