ROV Competence


Purdue IEEE ROV Team Success!


Another incredible accomplishment by the Purdue University IEEE ROV Team!

For those who aren't familiar with the ROV industry, ROV stands for Remotely Operated Vehicle. Almost always, an ROV is an underwater vehicle designed to complete tasks that are too dangerous, too boring, or too difficult for a human diver to accomplish. ROVs are piloted remotely with signals sent through a tether and have made it as deep as 35,000 feet below the sea floor. By percent growth, it is one of the fastest growing engineering industries. Other than this team, Purdue is currently taking no initiative on the subject while universities around the world are devoting entire majors to the subject (often referred to as 'Ocean Engineering').

The Purdue IEEE ROV team is dedicated to competing in the world's largest ROV competition, the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education Center) competition. The mission this year simulated underwater volcano study ROVs that can take temperature reading in multiple vents, collect unknown crustaceans for research inside of caves, collect a specific amount of sea-floor bacteria, and deploy long-term monitoring equipment in locations emitting a specific noise.

Including the entry level Ranger class and more technical Explorer class (Purdue competes in the Explorer class), there were over 400 team from around the world!

Purdue competed on June 25th at the University of Hawaii in Hilo and placed 4th overall internationally (after placing 5th internationally last year)! This put Purdue ahead of such universities as MIT, Georgia Tech, UNC, and Arizona State! The vehicle, ROV Competence, was a major step forward in technology and build quality from the 2009 vehicle, ROV Osprey. ROV Competence was the fastest vehicle at the competition with many unique features. However, the vehicle suffered from dual motor failure 5 seconds before the mission began after showing no signs of problems during the 100+ hours of practice. The issue was traced afterward to an underwater wire connection. Even with this handicap, the vehicle performed extremely well!

Thanks to all those at Purdue who have helped us get to where we are!

Purdue will be returning to next year's competition which will be at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas. The lab is the largest indoor pool in the world with a depth of 40 feet!

We are still in desperate need of financial support and more than welcome suggestions for grants or sponsorships! Our limited funding for the 2010 competition forced us to leave half the team behind and spend more on travel than on the vehicle itself!

Please forward this to anyone you may think would be interested!
Thanks for your interest!

Seth Baklor
Team Captain
Junior, Industrial Engineering

Thanks to our Sponsors


Purdue IEEE ROV Team returns with 4th place finish

I would like to thank you again for sponsoring the Purdue IEEE ROV Team.
The 2010 MATE ROV competition is now over. This was the second year for the team, and we have placed 4th overall internationally (an improvement from last year's 5th place finish). This put us ahead of many respected universities such as MIT, UNC, Arizona State, and Georgia Tech. We also placed ahead of teams from Russia, China, Iran, Scotland, and Canada.

ROV Competence would have easily secured a 2nd place finish; however, it suffered from a major failure. Immediately before the mission run which a perfect mission score was expected, ROV Competence lost one of its waterproof motor connections which took away one vertical and one horizontal motor (the first major failure to hit the vehicle in its over 100 hours of practice time). This made the vehicle extremely slow and hard to control. However it still scored extremely high with this handicap.

The team is already looking forward to the 2011 competition in Houston, Texas at NASA's Neutral Buoyancy Lab. This is the largest indoor pool in the world. While we do not know the mission yet, we do know that the vehicle will need to be designed for operation at 40 feet of depth. This poses many unique challenges that should make for an exciting build.

Please see attached for a photo of the ROV with all sponsors recognized with decals permanently attached to the vehicle. All sponsors were also recognized on our poster, technical report, and professional presentation.
We are always in need of more financial support and donations of parts/tools (including right now)!

Thanks Again,
Seth Baklor
Team Captain
Purdue University IEEE ROV Team

Abstract and Awards


The Purdue IEEE ROV Team received 4th Place in the 2010 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) Center International ROV Competition at the University of Hawaii - Hilo. The loss of one of the waterproof motor connections disabled a horizontal and a vertical thruster, but the team managed to complete the mission with the sluggish vehicle due to the experience afforded by 100+ hours of practice.

ROV Competence, the second vehicle created by the Purdue University IEEE ROV team, has been designed to accomplish and exceed the 2010 MATE International ROV Competition mission requirements. The vehicle is designed with a focus on reliability, handling, and dexterity. This focus stems from the challenges presented in this mission and in the history of volcano study. All of these goals were to be accomplished within a final vehicle cost of approximately $6,000 (not including the cost of research, testing, and transportation).

The vehicle is designed to deploy testing equipment near seismic activity, collect a sample of a new species of crustacean, test water temperature at multiple vent sites, and collect a specific sample size of bacterial mat. ROV Competence accomplishes all expected tasks in a single dive while remaining only 60cm long, 35cm wide, and 22cm tall.

More information about ROV Competence may be found in the technical report.

Pictures from this season may be found on Facebook. Press releases sent around Purdue and to team sponsors may be found in the two articles above. A video of the volcano study mission runs may be found on YouTube.