LBCC ROV Team Competes in Colorado – Day 2

Photos courtesy of Greg Mulder

This is a quick recap of Day 2 of the LBCC ROV team at the MATE International ROV Competition that took place in Longmont, Colorado this year:

Day 2:

The team was up early and happy.  The ROV seems to be working well. 

But … today’s main activity for LBCC is to perform the technical speech.  Here teams present to usually three judges (we only had two this time as we lost many judges to the search of the OceanGate).  During this presentation the team discusses their team philosophy, design rationale, the ROV they built and the challenges they faced. 

The team had practiced hard over the past three days.  The first time they presented to me, my first words were, “OK, you need a lot of work.” Maybe that came across a little bit harsher than it should have, or maybe they realized that they really needed a lot. 

Regardless, they spent the next several days really working hard, reflecting on the work they had done and the technological and personal challenges they faced.  By the second time they presented to me a practice version of the presentation, it was 100% better, meaning that it was about 85% of the way to being where it needed to be.

On the day of the presentation, they pretty nearly nailed it.  The judges were clearly impressed by the ROV they had made and the team’s ability to communicate what they had done. 

In the attached pictures you can see: 

–Sara (above) presenting “bird leg,” which is an independent “float” that goes down to the bottom of the pool and then comes back up to report to your cell phone the temperature at the bottom of the pool.

–Dominique showing off the buoyancy that is made out of the pink syntactic foam on the top of the ROV.

–Then, it’s hard to see in the final picture, but the LBCC ROV’s syntactic foam buoyancy system opening up on hinges so that you can work on the insides – this is kind of a special feature unusual in ROVs and it always makes judges excited to be able to come up and see the inner workings.

After the presentation students were clearly relieved and excited.  A celebratory Hawaiian dinner was followed by staying up late getting ready for the “product demonstration” event in the pool for Day 3.  The product demonstration is where most of the points are earned and where you prove that you really can make something that works.

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