Raul Hodgson, Hong Cong Chapter Vice chair
The Hong Kong IEEE CT/OES Joint Chapter was very busy in 2022 with their continued effort to instill remotely operated vehicle (ROV) knowledge in local primary and secondary schools. The COVID-19 pandemic had made the previous year, 2021, quite difficult but now with the COVID issue becoming more predictable, so the task was a lot easier.
The ultimate goal, at the start of the year, was to hold a proper, in person, MATE Navigator and Scout ROV competition in October 2022. Local COVID restrictions in the past two years had limited the numbers of people in groups. CT/OES had run competitions in 2021, but with small numbers of students only. Recent changes indicated that things were a bit more relaxed and we wanted to take advantage of this. Anti-COVID measures, like always wearing masks, temperature checks and RAT result photographs were still enforced especially when large groups of students met, but the local community was now quite used to all of this. So we did not see this as a hindrance at all.
The 2022 workshops started later than we would have liked, with the first ROVs built in May. However, the students were as enthusiastic as ever and we were raring to go. We still kept the groups small mainly to keep the schools happy. By the time of thecompetition, on October 29th, we managed to build 55 ROVs, involved 209 students and organize 29 competition teams. Not all of these ROVs would attend this year’s competition and some of the previous year’s ROV builds would.
The workshops involved younger students, which was great for us to see. The youngest age was 10 and many teams had students almost the same age. Previously we had noticed a wide mix of ages in teams. This new demographic was a healthy sign for us to see. Another important trend is the use of English language by more teams. This allowed for more MATE Navigator and Scout teams this year.
The Basic ROV workshops are structured classes, supervised by trained instructors. The “ROV in a Box” concept actually allows students to change and modify the general build instructions to add their ideas to the ROV. Many teams did this and built ROVs of different dimensions and added special tools to the basic frame structure. Some of the builders also experimented with the orientation and position of the thrusters finding out this can make the buoyancy trimming quite tricky.
At 9:00am on the 29th of October, 2022, at the Queen’s College Old Boy’s school on Tsing Yi Island, the 2022 Hong Kong Mate IEEE CT/OES (Consumer Technology Society/Oceanic Engineering Society) Joint Chapter opened the 2022 Navigator, Scout, Adventurer and Sentinel ROV competition. The competition was opened by the CT/OES Chairman, Dr K. F. Tsang. We had 24 teams comprising 113 students.
This year we saw some novel engineering. One team had attached gear stick grips to their joysticks. But the most interesting was the integrated ROV / Game controller. These students had found a way to fill in the waiting time in between runs by integrating a full video game system into the controller. There was even a choice of many different software, including all of the popular MMA sparring games.
The Canadian International School of Hong Kong provided the Junior Engineer support this year, with 8 students running around with pockets full of fuses and screwdrivers helping the teams get ready to compete. This was particularly useful for the younger teams. They also helped the judges with the logistics they needed.
Winning teams were:
First Place: Fukien Secondary School
Second Place: Canadian International School of Hong Kong
Third Place: Pui Kiu Middle School
First Place: Pui Kiu Middle School
Joint Second Place: CUHKFFA Thomas Cheung Secondary School
Joint Second Place: Canadian International School of Hong Kong
First Place: Queen’s College Old Boys’ Association Secondary School
Second Place: CMA Secondary School
Third Place: SKH Li Fook Hing Secondary School
First Place: Lovempathy Academy
Second Place: Team Gunners
Third Place: Team Halves
It was a great day for all. The competition had great weather, strong teams and the CT/OES made a successful attempt at getting back to normal ROV Competitions after the huge disruption caused by the COVID Pandemic. Please see www.rov.hk for more information.
Finally, the IEEE CT/OES Young Engineer’s Conference (YE-23) will be held in Hong Kong, November / December 2023. We hope to see you there.
The Hong Kong IEEE CT/OES Joint Chapter are looking forward to an exciting 2023. Already planned is an Invitational competition in January 2023, an ROV BattleBot in April 2023 and the next main ROV Competition in October 2023 All good stuff!