Campus: CSU Monterey Bay -- August 30, 2002

CSUMB Students Go to Great Depths to Compete

Five students from California State University, Monterey Bay’s Earth System Science and Policy program will gather to watch themselves on the Discovery Channel’s "Depth Charge: Underwater Robot Challenge", Sunday, Sept 1, 2002, at 9 p.m. PST.

In April 2002, CSUMB’s five students and their instructor, Dr. Steve Moore, joined 15 students and instructors representing the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center and the Monterey Peninsula College Robotics Club to compete in the first-ever "Depth Charge: Underwater Robot Challenge" sponsored by the Discovery Channel. In this by-invitation-only competition which took place at Texas A&M University, Team MATE and their underwater robot, "Bot MATE-Tricks" were up against the likes of the U.S. Navy’s NR-1 submarine crew, the University of South Florida, and the Naval Postgraduate School in events ranging from an obstacle course to a tractor-pull and one-on-one combat.

Bot MATE-Tricks came away with first place and the "God of the Sea" victory trophy despite suffering a fire onboard that destroyed its electronic brains. CSUMB students were instrumental in the original design and construction of the ROV (Romotely Operated Vehicle). The CSUMB students also redesigned and rebuilt it overnight after the fire, and were piloting the robot with sparks flying when the ROV achieved its well-earned victory.

CSU Monterey Bay students are Carla Engalla, Patrick Finch, Bryan Jones, Tad Masek, and Bryan Schaefer.

As a result of the dramatic victory, two of the CSUMB students were offered jobs by Oceaneering International, Inc., one of the world’s leading ROV and deep-sea technology companies.

More information, photographs, and a short video clip of Bot MATE-Tricks swimming around in a pool are available on the web at

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