Underwater Robotics and MATE Partnership


Why ROV?

A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is a highly maneuverable, underwater robot that can be used for both scientific research and exploration. Since ROVs are operated by someone on the surface, and do not require an individual to go underwater, they have several advantages for underwater research:

  1. Quick Deployment: Most ROVs can be deployed within a moments notice, making them highly beneficial in emergency situations.
  2. Minimal Maintenance: ROVs are robust and rugged in design, built to withstand hard water environments, and can typically last years without needing major repairs.
  3. Better than a Diver: Unlike divers who require oxygen and are limited by the amount of time they may remain underwater, ROVs rely on a battery that can last up to 8 hours at a time. In addition, ROVs can have video recording capabilities, and can fit into areas that are either too narrow or difficult for divers to reach.


Who Uses ROVs?

  1. Aquaculture: The use of underwater ROV has proven to be a cost effective way for fish farmers to ensure healthy fish crop, efficient harvest and environmental protection.
  2. Infrastructure: ROVs can be used to perform infrastructure inspections of pipeline systems, dams, bridges, and reservoirs, which prevents divers from being put into harm’s way.
  3. Military: ROVs are used by the military for security and to help identify threats that may be hidden underwater.
  4. Oil and Energy: All forms of energy require infrastructure underwater: wind, solar, oil and gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity. ROVs offer an alternative to sending divers underwater to perform needed emergency or routine inspection work.


MATE China

IPERC is endorsed by Marine Advanced Technology Education Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II) to exclusively develop MATE regional Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competitions across Mainland China. MATE’s ROV competitions engage students from elementary to college aged in robotics and engineering projects that help them to develop technical, problem solving, critical thinking, project management, communication, teamwork, and entrepreneurship skills and prepare them for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers.

IPERC is proud to be one of forty (and growing!) regional contests that take place across the world. In 2015, we started to invite MATE representatives and ROV teachers to develop ROV careers in China. Through our partnership, IPERC has brought MATE II and ROVs to more than 30 cities in China, and we will continue to expand. The furthering of this program and the expansion of underwater robotics education is an ongoing program within IPERC. Teachers and students have begun to learn about our ROV program, which has spiked their interest in building their own ROVs to complete special missions.


Timeline Of ROV Implementation in China

  • In 2013 and 2014, Gahanna Lincoln students visited their Chinese sister school to demo ROV class through the assistance of IPERC;
  • In 2015, IPERC sponsored a trip to China for, Fred, a robotics teacher from Ohio to hold an ROV workshop in 20 different schools in the Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou area;
  • In 2016, Fred returned to China to conduct a 2-week teacher training workshop;
  • In the summer of 2017, Fred held ROV demo classes to 800 students during our summer camp;
  • In the fall of 2017, we began a partnership with MATE II to work towards implementing an underwater robotics competition in China.
  • In 2018, we helped the Chinese National Day school participate in the MATE International Competition and introduced MATE II to three universities in China, including top-ranked Peking University, Nanjing University and Beijing Information Science and Technology University.