Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — Underwater robots and the kids who build them get their day in the spotlight. Dozens of kids hit the pool to test their tech knowledge in a daylong competition. In the water, they go. With fellow students behind the controls, teams from more than two dozen schools compete at the Bishop State pool in the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s annual Remotely Operated Vehicle or ROV competition. Even when the bot doesn’t perform as well as you want, it’s still a good experience.
“The thing I like about this competition is it’s more of a challenge always new, a new challenge,” said student Trent Andrews. Aside from building a pretty cool little robot they also work on teamwork.
“Commitment and dedication, you have to be committed to the team, if you’re not it’s not going to work out well,” said student Christian Leblanc. The ROVs perform different underwater tasks to simulate repairs around dams and rivers.
“The majority of what they’re learning is how to put everything they’ve ever learned in all of their maths, science, engineering classes all of it together into doing some real-world applications,” said Nicolette Darjean with David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy in Lafayette. Saturday they’re in the pool for simulations and Sunday they’ll be in the simulated board room trying to sell their device as they would in the real world.
“So they’ll talk about its design, talk about its specifications they’ll talk about its cost and they’ll talk about how good their company is at running that ROV in the water,” said Tina Miller-Way with DISL. This is the 7th year for the sea lab’s ROV competition. In that time they’ve more than tripled the number of teams participating.