MMS SeaPerch Robotics Team Headed to Nationals in Baton Rouge!
It was a long shot because the MMS elite robotics team had never entered an underwater competition before. But on March 19th the MMS team calling themselves the Tenacious Tunas enlisted their SeaPerch Remotely Operated Underwater Vehicle at the Navy Regional Competition in Great Lakes, Illinois. The Tunas were first-time competitors in this arena and the only Wisconsin entrants among a sea of 117 other school teams.
“Our goal was to enter a new league and compete to learn how to construct and operate robots underwater. This is a big departure from building land robots which we have been doing, successfully, for the past ten years,” said Jaime W, the Tunas’ coach.The Tenacious Tunas ranked second out of all the teams that competed. MMS students, Owen L., Samantha S., and Xander S., impressed judges with
their detailed knowledge of submarines and the requisite mathematics, physics, and engineering behind building them. But knowledge alone does not make a winning team; the submarine has to work. And while MMS team the Junior Cousteaus fell hard on their luck with ballast that sunk their sub, the Tunas zoomed with precision and speed through tight underwater obstacles.
Ultimately, the Tenacious Tunas and their submarine, the USS Macaroni, qualified them for the SeaPerch National Competition, which will be held at the University of Louisiana in Baton Rouge this coming May 20th and 21st.
When asked what the secret is to building a winning underwater robot, Owen L. responded: “The secret is to develop good thumb skills for piloting and maneuvering the SeaPerch ROV.” Xander S. added with a wink: “That’s where lots of video game experience has come in handy.”