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Robots battle it out to earn prizes for pupils

Pupils at work on an ROV
Pupils at work on an ROV

The engineers of the future went head-to-head at Robert Gordon University (RGU) last month when they put underwater robots, which they designed and built, to the test as part of an annual competition.

The Scottish MATE ROV competition, co-ordinated and hosted by RGU, saw 11 school teams from around the country face off as they put their robots through a series of underwater missions for a place in the international final.

Pupils had to use their remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) to inspect and repair a mock-up dam, monitor water quality and recover a submerged historical artefact.

The major STEM initiative aims to inspire future engineers through hands-on experience of designing ROVs used underwater in the oil and gas, defence, oceanology and marine renewables industries.

It is one of 24 regional heats held around the world by the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Centre in California
and will see the winning team travel to compete in the final in
Tennessee.

Scottish MATE ROV has worked with more than 500 pupils from over 40 schools over the past 10 years.

BP North Sea has been a major sponsor of the competition since its launch and Subsea UK and ROVOP have this year continued their support of the competition.

Ariel Flores, BP North Sea regional president, said: “The MATE ROV competition gives pupils hands-on experience and plays a significant role in stimulating an interest in STEM subjects.

“Developing future capability and talent in STEM and digital skills is a key focus area for BP and important for the continued success of our
industry.

“BP is pleased to once again sponsor this fantastic initiative and we wish all the participating schools the best of luck.”

Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK said: “It is crucial to continue inspiring the next generation of engineers through creative initiatives which incorporate STEM subjects  such as this highly-regarded competition.”

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