2013 marks the 8th time the event has been run in Hong Kong, and this time the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Hong Kong, (IET HK) is the main organiser, having been the main technical sponsor since the beginning. The 2006 – 2011 Hong Kong contests were organised by City University of Hong Kong, and the 2012 by a group of non-profit educations associations. The contests are aimed at senior secondary students (Ranger) and college/university students (Explorer). The IET HK also provided judges and prize money. MATE is the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center in Monterey, California and they arrange the contest each year at many locations around the world with the top teams from each regional – such as the one in Hong Kong – going on to the International Finals, usually in N America.
Each year at least three teams from Hong Kong attend these finals – two Ranger teams, from local schools, and one or two Explorer teams from local universities.
The 2006 HK Explorer team in Houston
The 2007 HK Explorer team in Canada
In the first six years of the Hong Kong contest, sponsorship from CityU and WWF was used to run the Hong Kong contest as well as to allow all 24 schools entering the Ranger contest to be provided with an ROV kit (ROV in a bucket), as well as books and manuals on designing and building underwater robots, ad for the expenses of running the workshops, which were compulsory for every team.
2009 winning Ranger team
2011 winning Ranger team
Unlike many other regional contests around the planet, Hong Kong encourages schools and universities to attend a series of workshops. These cover basic ROV construction, advanced electronics and sensing techniques, and mission/project planning.
This year, 2013, the contest has attracted a record number of teams from around Asia. 21 local and 12 overseas teams will be taking part. Other than Hong Kong contestants have come from Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, India, Thailand, China, Taiwan, Macau and Japan.
Taking into account the new teams this year, a total of around 80 different schools have now taken part in the competition in the last 7 years. IET Hong Kong is proud to have introduced an run such a meaningful event for schools and universities in Asia.