AMNO & CO does it again! ROV team to compete internationally

It’s been three years since we first heard from AMNO & CO, the trio of West Seattleites who have literally taken on the world in a robotics specialty, the ROV – and they’re doing it again this year. The theme is one with particular local resonance this year – read on for their report on what they’re doing (they provided the photos, too):

In May, AMNO & CO ROV team won first place in the Pacific Northwest Regional MATE ROV competition, qualifying for the international event in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. (Check out the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center’s Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition at For the three team members – Alex Miller, Clara Orndorff, and Nicholas Orndorff – this will be their fourth consecutive year at the international competition, and as always, the team with the fewest team members.

ROVs are extremely valuable at accomplishing tasks in environments which would be too deep or risky for human divers. This year’s tasks revolve around deploying, salvaging, and servicing equipment related to the oil industry in the Arctic. Teams have to design and build a vehicle to replace components in oil wellheads, turn valves in oil pipelines, and measure icebergs. In doing these tasks, AMNO & CO will be competing against the winning teams of regional competitions in the USA, Canada, Egypt, China, Hong Kong, Scotland, Russia and several others. While MATE’s tasks revolve around oil in the Arctic, communication is also emphasized in the competition, so teams have to write a technical report, create a poster, and give an engineering presentation.

In Newfoundland, AMNO & CO will compete in a state-of-the-art marine facility, which has three unique research test tanks, including a tank with waves, another with currents, and a third covered in ice. These tanks accurately simulate the conditions in real Arctic environments, while providing teams the opportunity to test their vehicles in unusual conditions.

In addition to competing and fundraising for the MATE competition, AMNO & CO seeks to instill their passion for engineering in others. For instance, they gave a special presentation in the Seattle Aquarium’s Window on Washington Waters tank for the public in November. Also, team member Alex Miller will be leading a robotics summer camp in West Seattle this June, fostering an appreciation for the unique fusion of mechanical systems, electrical systems, and software which robotics encompasses.

The international competition will be in St. John’s, Newfoundland, June 25-28. For more information about AMNO & CO, please visit or contact them at

3 Replies to "AMNO & CO does it again! ROV team to compete internationally"

  • Rosalie June 16, 2015 (9:16 pm)

    Congratulations to you all and continued success!

  • NativetoSeattle June 16, 2015 (9:20 pm)

    Very cool! I hope you do great in Canada!

  • Caroline Brown July 1, 2015 (1:49 pm)

    Hi, this is Caroline with the MATE Center. Great article! I just wanted to let you know that AMNO & CO won overall first place in the RANGER class of the international competition. The scores are posted here:

    Congratulations team!

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