SCOUT Missions




Commerce: Hyperloop Construction

  • Install the frame onto the baseplate.
  • 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

  • Turn the valve to stop the flow of water to the platform.
  • Remove the old fountain.
  • Install the new fountain.
  • Turn the valve to restore the flow of water to the platform.
  • Return the old fountain to the surface, side of the pool.

Health: Environmental Cleanup

  • Collect a sediment sample from the contaminated area and return it to the surface.
  • Collect two clams from the contaminated area and return them to the surface.
  • Place a cap over the contaminated area.

Safety: Risk Mitigation

  • Locate the four cargo containers.
  • Use a magnetic reed switch to activate the RFID. In this scenario, the RFID will only respond if the cargo is high-risk.
  • Deploy a marker on each container that contains high-risk cargo.


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

  • 12 volts, 15 amps DC. Conversion to lower voltages is permitted topside and on the ROV. Onboard electrical power is not permitted.
  • Manually-powered hydraulics and pneumatics are permitted. Pneumatic systems cannot exceed ambient pool pressure and must follow the fluid power specifications included within the competition manual.
  • Lasers are NOT permitted.
  • Depth requirement: Varies depending on the regional event. The regional coordinator will provide this information.
  • New in 2017! Anderson Powerpole connectors are required on all vehicles. 
  • Maximum size limit: None. See below for additional details on size requirements.

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


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:

<40cm diameter +10 points
40.01cm to 48 cm +5 points





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 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.


SCOUT class:

The 2017 Scout fee is $25.


  • Safety check including Systems Integration Diagram (SID)

o   The Systems Integration Diagram is due at the competition.  It MUST be submitted to the safety judges in order to pass safety inspection and compete. The SID should be neatly hand drawn or created using a CAD software program. The diagram should not exceed one page in length and it MUST show an ROV system fuse.

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 Station

o   All SCOUT ROVs will be checked for size limits prior to product demonstrations. Smaller ROVs will receive point bonuses. For more information, see page 13-14 of the SCOUT competition manual.

  • Product demonstrations

o   Companies shall provide a crew up to four people on the pool deck to operate the ROV System. Adult company mentors are not allowed on the pool deck.

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 Scout 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 SCOUT manual (42-45).

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. 

Competition setup: 

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

  • 3 minute set-up period
  • 10 minute product demonstration period
  • 2 minute demobilization period

If you do get two attempts, the higher of the two product demonstration 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 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 flat bottom.  The depth for the SCOUT class product demonstrations is approximately 2.2 meters.

Product Demonstration Station:  Product demonstration control stations will not have a table, chairs or video monitors. Each station will have access to a dedicated power supply.

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:  SCOUT class companies will use either a dedicated power supply that will provide the nominal 12 volts or a 12 volt deep cycle marine battery.  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.

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

Safety inspection: 

SCOUT teams are expected to visit the safety inspection judges at the Safety Check Station during their designated time.  SCOUT companies should have a copy of their SID available for safety checks. See the Vehicle Design & Building Specifications (1.2) in the SCOUT Competition Manual for more information. 

Propellers must either be inside the ROV frame or shrouded. It is highly recommended that all propellers are shrouded, regardless of placement. 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 cm 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.