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Underwater remotely operated vehicle robotics tournament held at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

ALPENA, MICH — Robotics competitions made their way back to Alpena this weekend, as the Mate Remotely Operated Vehicles tournament consumed Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Students from across the state organized to show off their robots in the water. Each of the machines is designed to accomplish real–world tasks and are scored within categories based on complexity.

Building on knowledge from competitions like this one will be beneficial to students, opening doors to careers in marine biology, forensics, environmental preservation and more.
Students from St. Francis Xavier in Petosky say they hope their efforts will lead to futures in engineering.

Director of the sanctuary, Katie Wolf, says the academic and technical aspect of the competition are clear, but the work teaches more than just a book smarts.

“This is just an incredible experience because it teaches them so many different skill sets. I mean it involves the science, the engineering, the math. They have to figure out how to build these robots, and then they have to be able to repair them when things don’t go as smoothly, which is pretty much real life .”

Winners from this competition will go on to compete for recognition at the international level.