They’re back, and they won! The local trio AMNO & CO, who’ve been sharing their stories of international marine-tech competition here for the past few years, won first place in their division this year. Alex Miller (above right) – who’s one-third of AMNO & CO, along with (from left, above) Nicholas Orndorff and Clara Orndorff – shares the details, and a challenge:
We are pleased to let you know that at last week’s Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International 2015 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) competition, AMNO & CO received first place in the Ranger (predominantly high school) division.
This competition included 31 Ranger teams from over 10 different countries.
The international venue at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland in Canada was very unique in that were three different tanks, including a flume tank with current, a tank with waves, and a tank covered with a layer of ice. In each of these tanks, there were a set of separate mission tasks, faced by scientists and industry professionals working in the corresponding extreme environmental conditions in the Arctic.
While AMNO & CO had practiced extensively in swimming pools, piloting in the unusual competition conditions posed unique challenges. In the ice tank, the team had issues with buoyancy due to an EGADS solution (ethylene glycol, aliphatic detergent and sugar) which was dissolved in the water. In addition, bubbles stuck under the ice sheet, as well as the ice sheet itself, obscured visibility.
In the flume tank, the team struggled to keep their vehicle in their designated station, as the ROV with its large surface area was greatly affected by the current. Despite these difficulties, the team used quick problem solving skills and well-practiced driving in order to confront the issues.
High scores in AMNO & CO’s poster, presentation, and technical report were also important contributors to their winning overall score. This communication element of the competition serves a very important role, honing speaking and writing skills as well as allowing teams to connect with members of the industry, who serve as competition judges, getting a feel for what a marine-technology career really entails.
In addition to the overall first-place Ranger division award, AMNO & CO also received awards for excellence in safety, and design elegance.
For the team, this was the culmination of six years participating in the MATE Pacific Northwest Regional event and four years competing in the MATE International Competition, which is held at a different location each year.
AMNO & CO would like to encourage other teams to get started in the Seattle area: MATE is a great competition that fosters independent thinking, creativity, and a diverse fusion of different branches of engineering which must be integrated individually. Feel free to contact AMNO & CO at facebook.com/AMNOandCoROV or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.