The Student News Site of Taipei American School




ROV Team Successfully Conquers Shipwreck


The TAS ROV team tests their ROV’s LED lights before their competition.

As the last three seconds ticked away, Jinsuh P. (12) furiously grabbed the ceramic plate from the vehicle’s claw. Finding and obtaining the plate was one of the many tasks that the robot had to accomplish. When the clock struck zero, the team knew they had succeeded. “That plate helped us to raise our score and the exhilaration of the near miss contributes to why it is such a memorable experience.” says Edmund T (11).
This past summer, the MATE Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) team traveled to Michigan for the world championships. Sponsored by Dr. Garcia, the team was led by Anthony L. and Gregory H. The team also included Edmund T., Jinsuh P., Trisha S., Tiffany C., Xiaoyang K., and alumni Valerie L., Kevin L., Joey B., Emily S.
ROV is a competition in which the teams each build a robot that operates underwater. Each year, the robots have to be specialized to complete different tasks within a given time limit. This year, the task that the robots had to complete was to retrieve objects, such as the ceramic plate, and make measurements from a fake shipwreck.
Our team achieved some stellar results. TAS won Best Engineering Presentation award and the Design Elegance Award, for the second year in a row.
There also some great individual performances. “Joey B.  Was awarded the flying fish award for his design of the ROV claw manipulator.” said Tiffany C. (12).
Although the robot did not suffer any leaks or failures, the team did face some challenges.
“The competition site was not a typical ROV competition area: instead of having a swimming pool, we used a concrete pool at a national marine sanctuary. This was a different situation that we adapted to.” says Edmund. Because the pool deck was a long way from the water, prop and ROV handling was very difficult.
Tiffany adds: “On our second mission, we were looking for a piece of plastic inside the shipwreck that had the date of the ship on it. If we found it and correctly identified the ship, we could’ve gotten a lot more points. However, we ran out of time. But the awful thing is that when we went back and checked the mission footage, we discovered that the plastic was actually in the footage – it was at the corner of the shot!”
But for Edmund, it was all about team spirit.  “Ultimately, the memories that come with working in a team for so long are all memorable and show the importance of teamwork and cohesion in ROV.”

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