RANGER Missions




Commerce:  Hyperloop Construction

  • Insert two rebar reinforcement rods into position in the steel baseplate.
  • Install the frame onto the baseplate.
  • Remove a pin to release the chains holding the frame.
  • Transport and position the hose for pouring concrete into the frame.
  • Retrieve the three positioning beacons and return them to the surface.

Entertainment:  Light and Water Show Maintenance

  • Disconnect the power cable from the platform.
  • Turn the valve to stop the flow of water to the platform.
  • Disengage the locking mechanism at the base of the fountain.
  • Remove the old fountain.
  • Install the new fountain.
  • Re-engage the locking mechanism at the base of the fountain.
  • Turn the valve to restore the flow of water to the platform.
  • Reconnect the power cable to the platform.
  • Return the old fountain to the surface, side of the pool.

Health: Environmental Cleanup

  • Use a simulated Raman laser to determine if contaminants are present in two sediment samples.
  • Collect a 100 ml sediment sample from the contaminated area and return it to the surface. The sediments will be simulated by agar.
  • Collect two clams from the contaminated area and return them to the surface.
  • Place a cap over the contaminated sediments.

Safety: Risk Mitigation

  • Locate the four cargo containers.
  • Insert the sensor provided by MATE into the port on the side of each container to activate the RFID. The RFID will be simulated by LED lights on the surface at the side of the pool.
  • Use the data to determine the container’s identification number, contents, and if the contents are high risk. (MATE will provide you with a container manifest.)
  • Attach a buoy marker to the U-bolt on the container with high-risk cargo.
  • Determine the distance from the high-risk container to the other three containers.
  • Determine the direction from the high-risk container to the other three containers.
  • Use distance and direction to make a survey map of the incident site. (MATE will provide a blank map with 0.25 meter squares.)


What follows is a summary of the electrical and fluid power requirements for the RANGER class.  The complete design and building specifications will be included within the competition manual.

NOTE:  Watch for new safety requirements and additional, detailed electrical specifications within the competition manuals.

  • 12 volts, 25 amps DC. Conversion to lower voltages is permitted topside and on the ROV. Onboard electrical power is not permitted.
  • Pneumatics and hydraulics are permitted provided that the team passes the MATE Fluid Power Safety Quiz and follows the specifications included within the competition manual.
  • Lasers are permitted provided that the team follows the specifications included within the competition manual. 
  • Camera is required.
  • Depth requirement at the international competition: 4.6 meters.
  • Maximum size: 75 cm. Vehicles above this size will not be allowed to compete in the product demonstration. See below for additional details on size and weight requirements.
  • New in 2017! Maximum weight: 20 kg. See below for additional details on weight requirements.


The Port of Long Beach has included an ROV size and weight requirement in the request for proposals (RFP). Smaller, lighter vehicles will be given special consideration and vehicles above a certain size and weight will not be considered. 

All size and weight measurements will include the vehicle, all tools and components, and the tether. The topside control system and 1 meter of tether going into the control system will NOT be included in the length or weight measurement. To receive points for smaller sized vehicles, the two largest dimensions of the vehicle and tether must fit through a round hole of the following dimensions:

< 48 cm diameter +20 < 11kg +20
48.01cm to 54cm +10 11.01kg to 12kg +10
54.01cm to 60cm +5 12.01kg to 14kg +5






Vehicles above 75 cm in diameter, or greater than 20 kg in weight, will not be allowed to compete in the product demonstration.

NOTE: In addition to the size and/or weight limitations described above, companies must be able to personally transport the vehicle and associated equipment to the product demonstration station and to the technical sales presentation room. The ROV systems must be capable of being safely hand launched.


Teams are permitted to use the materials of their choice provided that they are safe, will not damage or otherwise mar the competition environment, and are within the defined design and building specifications.

Teams are encouraged to focus on engineering a vehicle to complete the product demonstration tasks; when considering design choices, teams should ask themselves which one most efficiently and effectively allows them to solve the problem. Re-using components built by previous team members is permitted provided that the current team members evaluate, understand, and can explain their engineering and operational principles. Using or re-using commercial components is also permitted, provided that team members evaluate, understand, and can explain their engineering and operational principles. Teams will be questioned extensively on their overall design and component selections during their technical sales presentations.

The complete competition manual will be released by November 15, 2016; teams have from that date until the regional events in the spring of 2017 to construct their vehicles and prepare the engineering and communication components (technical reports, engineering presentations, and poster displays).  Visit the MATE website at www.marinetech.org or request to be added to the MATE competition listserve to ensure a timely delivery.




Competition day for all classes:  Saturday, April 29th, Northeastern Illinois University Physical Education Complex at 5500 North St. Louis Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Please note that all teams and spectators are only allowed use of the pool and gym areas. All other areas of the Physical Education Complex are off-limits.

Registration information:

  • MULTIPLE VEHICLES ARE NOT PERMITTED. Companies are required to design and build ONE ROV that can complete the necessary product demonstration tasks.
  • Only ONE registration total per school or organization. This means only ONE entry from each school/organization, NOT one for Ranger and one for Scout.
  • Only middle school and high school teams can register for the competition.
  • Registration will open on January 30th, 2017.
  • Registration will close on April 1st, 2017 or when all competition spots are full.

General Competition Information:

  • All company members and their supporters are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the competition. Disrespectful behavior towards the judges, officials, pool staff, audience or other teams will lead to penalty points or disqualification.
  • Lunch will be provided for company members (i.e. students) and up to two mentors per company. Lunch tickets will be disseminated at registration.
  • During the competition, NO ADULTS (except for competition staff or volunteers) are allowed on the pool deck and speaking to any team from the pool viewing bleachers is prohibited. Violation of these will lead to penalty points or disqualification.


RANGER class:

The 2017 Ranger fee is $150.

The top one or two scoring Ranger teams will qualify to attend the International MATE Competition. The number of qualifying teams will depend on the overall number of teams registered to compete in the Ranger Class.


  • Safety check including Systems Integration Diagram (SID)

o   The Systems Integration Diagram is due at least two weeks before the regional competition.  Please send all SIDs to the Underwater Robotics Shedd Regional email at info@sheddmidwest.marinetech2.org by April 15th, 2017. SIDs must also be submitted to the safety judges the day of the competition in order to pass safety inspection and compete.  The SID must be drawn with a CAD (computer assisted drawing) program. Hand drawn figures are not permitted.

o   Adult company mentors may not participate in the safety check.

  • Marketing display

o   Companies should set up their marketing displays in the Northeastern Illinois University gym the morning of the competition. 

  • Product presentation

o   Product presentations will be given by students (location TBD). 

o   Adult company mentors may observe the product presentation; however, they cannot participate.

  • ROV Size and Weight Station

o   All RANGER ROVs will be checked for size and weight limits prior to product demonstrations. RANGER ROVs exceeding 75cm will be not be allowed to compete in the product demonstration run. Smaller and lighter ROVs will receive point bonuses. For more information, see page 15-16 of the RANGER competition manual.

  • Product demonstrations

o   Companies shall provide a crew of at least three but no more than six people on the pool deck to operate the ROV System. Adult company mentors are not allowed on the pool deck. Communication between demo team members at the pool edge and demo team members piloting the vehicle will be limited. Only tether management issues can be discussed.

o   Each company will have one or two product demonstration attempts. The number of attempts will be dependent on overall competition registration and will be announced one week before the competition when schedules are released.

o   The Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional Competition will be offering all four Ranger Class product demonstration tasks.

  • Outreach and Inspiration

o   This is a new portion of the competition this year. Outreach and Inspiration efforts will be reviewed by competition coordinators and awarded 0 to 10 bonus points. For more information regarding the requirements for points, see the RANGER manual (69-72).

NOT Required:

  • Technical Report
  • Company Spec Sheet
  • Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

NOTE:  By submitting any documentation, you are giving the MATE Center permission to publish these documents on its web site.

Other important notes and dates:

  • All teams that include fluid power on their ROVs must take and pass the fluid power quiz. The fluid power quiz is available via the Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional Competition website registration. The fee is $15 for five attempts. No team may take more than five attempts to pass the quiz. The last day to pass the fluid power quiz is March 3rd.
  • Companies using a laser at the international event must inform the MATE Center and provide the laser specifications by March 3rd, 2017. Information and laser specifications should be sent to the Competition Technical Manager (mgardner@marinetech.org).

Competition set-up: 

On competition day, RANGER companies will get one or two attempts (dependant on registration numbers) at the product demonstration.  Each product demonstration time will consist of:

  • 5 minute set-up period
  • 15 minute product demonstration period
  • 5 minute demobilization period

If you do get two attempts, the higher of the two scores will be combined with the Engineering & Communication and Safety scores to determine the total, overall score for the competition.  

An event schedule will be released the week before the competition.  If companies have any time constraints that they wish the Shedd to consider, please contact the Underwater Robotics program manager, Sadie Norwick at snorwick@sheddaquarium.org by April 1st, 2017.  


The 2017 Shedd Midwest MATE ROV Regional competition will require exclusively Anderson Powerpole connections for all classes. All provided power supplies will only accommodate Anderson Powerpole connections.

Pool:  The pool has a slanted bottom.  The depth for the RANGER class product demonstrations is approximately 4 meters (14 feet)

Product Demonstration Station:  A table and two chairs will be provided at each product demonstration station.  The standard water platform will be used for Task #2.  A blank map with 0.25 meter grid lines will be available to companies at the start of the product demonstration for Task #3.

Shedd will NOT provide video monitors for RANGER class companies.  Companies must provide their own video displays.  See Vehicle Design & Building Specifications (3.8.2) in the RANGER competition manual for number of video displays allowed.

Diver Support:  Diver support will be available during the product demonstration runs, but any diver assistance will constitute a penalty.

PFDs:  Companies are not required to wear PFDs at the pool edge.  Shedd will NOT have PFDs available for use.

Power:  RANGER class companies will use a dedicated power supply that will provide the nominal 12 volts.  Onboard electrical power or power not provided by the tether, such as battery powered devices, is NOT allowed under any circumstance. Power supply connections will be Red/Black Anderson Powerpole Connectors. Companies’ ROV system power wires MUST have proper connectors to obtain power.

Pressurized cylinders:  All pressurized cylinders must be approved by the US DOT.

Shared equipment:  If you are planning on sharing equipment (monitors, pressurized cylinders), please contact the Underwater Robotics program manager, Sadie Norwick at snorwick@sheddaquarium.org by April 1st, 2017. 

Safety inspection: 

RANGER teams are expected to visit the safety inspection judges at the Safety Check Station during their designated time. RANGER companies should have a copy of their SID available for safety checks. 

Propellers must be shrouded.  ROVs that have propellers exposed will not pass the safety inspection and will not be allowed to compete. A shroud must completely encircle the propeller and extend at least 2 mm in front of and behind the propeller.

Companies that pass the safety inspection will be given a safety flag (or card).  Companies must present the safety flag to the product demonstration station judge in order to compete in the pool.  Companies that fail their safety inspection must address the issue and contact the safety judges to be re-inspected. Please note that only students may address the issues. Adult company mentors are NOT allowed to offer assistance.

The Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional will not be offering points for a job site safety analysis (JSA) or extra safety component points.