Cabrillo College Robotics Club has secured the top spot in the World MATE ROV Competition for the second year in a row, emerging as the champions of the Pioneer Division. The international underwater robotics competition took place in Longmont, Colorado, and witnessed fierce competition among 63 teams from 12 countries and 18 American states.
Represented by Cabrillo College students Isaac Eda, Isaac Wax, Orion Ellefson, Ciaran Farley, Stephanie L’Heureux, and Kai Peters, the Cabrillo Robotics Club, under the guidance of Computer and Information Systems (CIS) instructor Mike Matera, showcased their exceptional skills and expertise.
Their remotely operated vehicle (ROV) named ‘SeaHawk’ once again proved its mettle as the team scored highly in all four pieces to the competition. The team was consistent and reliable. When approaching each task they leaned on each other’s unique skillset to score highly, but never top marks, in each part of the competition including the technical report, oral presentation, marketing display, and product demo in the pool to take home the victory in the Pioneer Division.
To win takes teamwork. To perform complex tasks underwater, six students work together on the pool deck, each with an important job to do.
— Mike Matera, Faculty Advisor and CIS Instructor
The competition, coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the first Mars rover mission, marked the 21st edition of the World MATE ROV Competition. This prestigious event engages a global community of learners and encourages various educational institutions, including four-year universities, community colleges, and high schools to demonstrate their proficiency in underwater robotics.
Mike Matera, the Faculty Advisor and CIS Instructor, expressed his pride in the team’s achievement, highlighting the importance of teamwork in securing the victory. He stated, “They did everything and chose to not work off of last year’s robot but instead started completely from scratch. I was there to support them, but this is their win. They did every part of this together. Next year, we will compete in the Explorer division against four-year schools. The four-year schools always have the advantage of returning students, but the team feels up to the challenge.”
The Cabrillo Robotics Club’s exceptional performance earned them an array of prizes, including the Pioneer First Place and All-Around Champion trophies. Additionally, they received a one-year membership in the Marine Technology Society (MTS) and a $500 cash award sponsored by the Schmidt Ocean Institute. Furthermore, the team was rewarded with four T200 thrusters and four escs to enhance their future endeavors in underwater robotics.
The Cabrillo College Robotics Club’s remarkable achievement not only showcases their technical prowess but also highlights their dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainable development. Their success reinforces Cabrillo College’s commitment to excellence in STEM education as Matera makes clear no students are ever turned away from the club. Getting started in the fall the team takes anyone is interested and they find the role to fit their skillset as the students are in charge of everything from meeting minutes, setting budgets, marketing presentations and every single aspect to the build.