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Underwater Robotics team preparing for Regional Competition

Posted at 8:30 AM, Feb 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-25 09:30:47-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, TX — Baker Middle School has an eight-student underwater robotics team, and they're preparing for one of the biggest regional competitions in the state of Texas.

They will be competing in the MATE Texas Regional ROV Competition at San Jacinto College on May 2nd.

These students will be challenging their underwater robots to maneuver and tackle problems that impact the world, such as completing tasks that have to do with pollution, clean waterways, finding PH levels and plenty more. The tasks must be done in under 15 minutes, and of course, it's all under water.

The underwater robotic team at Baker M.S. get together every week to work on their robots, and now they are buckling down to create the best robot for regionals.

"We basically create ROV's , remotely operated vehicles that go under water and they complete a bunch of tasks,"said co-CEO Avery Medina. She says this competition is all about which team can get the most points, "so you just complete a bunch of tasks and the more tasks you complete, the more points you get."

The team at Baker is still creating their robot, Pontus. They created the body out of PVC pipe, fitted it with three thrusters, or propellers. Chose to use a joy-stick remote, that took some extra research. Now, they must finish the wiring, give it some tweaks to it has perfect buoyancy, and then attach its camera and claw.

In this competition, there are certain guidelines that must be followed for every team.

"There is a total amperage and volts that we have to stay under," said co-CEO Aurora Cano. "We also have to present and have technical documentation. and we also have to make sure that everything is water-proof and there's safety precautions that there's nothing on here that will harm wildlife."

Although the team is still in the beginning stages and have not actually tested Pontus in water yet, this team has had the experience of seeing their final product robots be used underwater. They're hoping, Pontus will create a big impact.

"It's a feeling of accomplishment and teamwork," said Cano.
"Knowing that we were able to do it together and it wasn't just one of us building it but also that we made a creation that can someday help the world, somehow."

Currently, Baker's Underwater Robotics team will be the only middle school competing at the MATE Texas Regional ROV Competition.