Underwater Robotics Competitions (International K-12 and College Level)


It’s a scientific fact that despite of new discoveries everyday, 95% of earth’s oceans still remain undiscovered! It’s mind-boggling to think about all the mysterious species, geological data and organic matter sitting, waiting to be found. Underwater discoveries have always been complicated and challenging because of the limitations of being….well, being human. Scientists are depending more and more on robotics and machines to dive deeper into the oceans and bringing back information.

Underwater robotics competitions are absolutely great for those who are passionate about marine biology. It’s an amazing platform to tap on unopened potential and bring out the most creative ideas to overcome challenges involved in underwater exploration.

MATE (Marine Advanced technology Education) center is a national partnership of organizations working to improve marine technical education. Headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) in Monterey, California, the MATE Center has been funded as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education  (ATE) Center of Excellence (http://www.marinetech.org/rov-competition-2/).  The MATE Center uses underwater robots – also known as Remotely Operated Vehicles or ROVs – to teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and prepare students for technical careers.

In addition to providing internships, programs, workshops and curriculum, MATE hosts its annual ROV underwater robotics competition.

Targeted for K-12 schools, community colleges and universities, the ROV underwater robotics competition aims to create more awareness about the importance of STEM education in underwater exploration.

2016 Oahu MATE Regional Competition of underwater robotics held at US Coast Guard Base Honolulu (Sand Island) May 14, 2016. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/SOI)
2016 Oahu MATE Regional Competition of underwater robotics held at US Coast Guard Base Honolulu (Sand Island) May 14, 2016. (Photo by Logan Mock-Bunting/SOI)

Want to learn and see more about about ROV competitions are all about? Check out there incredible YouTube channel. You can look at videos about competition details, games, and stories from students!




Interested in starting a team? Before you jump into the details, it might be good idea to make sure you and your team is eligible to participate. Click on the link below to go over their criteria!


MATE offers some pretty good resources on how to get started, information about the games and contacts in your area.


They also have separate resources for parents! Feel free to explore it here –


Once you have gone over the eligibility criteria and all the required information, you can start your registration process here. Registrations are OPEN!




In order to quality for the international competitions, teams MUST participate in their regional competitions and then move upwards from there. Check below to see if there is a competition in you area!


More information on the international competitions can be found here –


In this highly advanced technological age, robotics is a ever-growing field and helping us achieve things that seem impossible. So, get your teams ready, and build robots that can drive down to the deepest parts of the oceans and discover things that we never know existed!


Image courtesy of –

MATE Center






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