Neutral Buoyancy Lab, Houston - 2016

On June 23-25 of this year, the MATE competition returns to Johnson Space Center's Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, TX. This year's theme is "ROV Encounters in Inner and Outer Space." The competition simulates a request for an underwater robot that will work in both the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans of Jupiter's moon, Europa. The robot has to meet size and weight requirements that simulate the parameters a satellite adheres to to fit on a rocket and escape Earth's gravity. The mission manual is located here.

Unfortunately we were not able to complete the qualification task within the 15-minute time limit, despite an extension from the judges. We had several issues including recurring failure of the motors, the new claw not being finished on time, the old claw breaking, and brown-outs. However, we are still proud of our achievement of designing and building a brand new robot in under ten months.