The Discovery Hall Programs of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab will soon host over 20 student robotics teams from across the south for our 4th annual Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition.

Teams have already been hard at work designing, building, and testing their unique ROV. For the competition, they will bring their ROV to the Sea Lab and compete against other teams in a series of tasks or missions. This year, the event is being held from April 22-24.

While the primary activity for the weekend will be the missions, the weekend will be full of other educational and fun activities. These includes a chat with a scientist who uses ROV in his research, a demonstration of a research class ROV, a chance for teams to explain the design of their ROV, career exploration in the field of marine technology, a ROV relay race, and, of course, the awards ceremony.

The competition is one of 26 regional competitions that are part of the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Program and take place across the U.S. and around the world. This year’s MATE theme is From the Gulf of Mexico to Jupiter’s Moon Europa: ROV encounters in Inner and Outer Space.

Students are tasked to design a ROV to complete missions relating to Gulf of Mexico deep coral communities, collecting and fingerprinting oil samples, decommissioning a wellhead, and mission-critical equipment recovery. Middle and high school student teams elect to participate at one of 3 levels of increasing complexity, SCOUT, NAVIGATOR AND RANGER. The winning team of the RANGER class is eligible to advance to the international competition held at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston Texas on June 23-25, 2016.

To see short videos of competitions from previous years, click here or here. For additional information, please feel free to contact us at