SeaPerch Places 3rd


Joanne Quach, Editor-in-Chief

After much preparation and last minute adjustments, Arroyo’s SeaPerch Team was able to place 3rd in the 2018 Navy Outreach for Obstacle course.

First things first, what is SeaPerch? SeaPerch is an underwater robotics program that provides students with resources they need in order to build their very own Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).

SeaPerch began as one small project from the book “How to Build an Underwater Robot,” by Harry Bohm and Vickie Jensen. Several years later, The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) had an idea to develop a program, partnering with The Office of Naval Research (ONR), they started it as a teacher-training program and then forming it into a national K-12 STEM Outreach program. Through grants, they were able to achieve their vision providing students with materials to help build their robot.

Since 2011, SeaPerch program has been managed by Robonation (The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Foundation – AUVSIF) and continues to expand nationally.

The SeaPerch program allows students to have fun crafting an underwater ROV while at the same time learning about robotics, engineering, science and mathematics. Building an underwater ROV teaches basic skills in ship and submarine design and encourages students to explore naval architecture and marine and ocean engineering principles.

“Building the ROV is a fun experience. It gives you a better feel of the underwater experience. For example, let’s say there is a trouble in the marine life and people are not able to go explore underwater, we can send an ROV down there to give us a better understanding of the water situation,” states Xingjie Feng, 11.

On March 3rd, Arroyo’s SeaPerch Team brought their ROV to Troy High School where they competed against 74 other middle and high schools. However, the robot was not completed when they arrived at the site. Luckily with time to spare, they were able to finish building it in an hour and a half.

“We did face some complications in which several parts were falling off, so we had to modify and it ended up working,” said Marco Hernandez, 11.

The first event was Obstacle Course. In Obstacle Course, the robot must to go through a series of hoops and come back on the same route they came from. The pool is about 7 meters out and it has to come back in less than 7 minutes. Although the ROV parts were intact, they faced yet another issue.

“During the competition itself, there was a problem with the motor but we overcame that obstacle and still managed to get 3rd place in the Obstacle Course. We made it back in 1 minute and 45 seconds,” says Marco.

First year advisor, Ms. Stacy Lim states that the competition went well and she is proud of the SeaPerch team.

“I thought the event was really cool, I was impressed by how the students were able to navigate their robot underwater. I heard one of the Navy officers say that Marco Hernandez was one of the best drivers they had seen,” states Ms. Lim.