Can Anyone De-Throne the Underwater Robotics G.O.A.T. this Summer?

Posted June 11, 2024 by Joshua neubert

The Run-Down of 10 Years of Underwater Robotics Dynasties.

Since 1997 there’s been a battle going on underneath the waves. Every year students in high schools and colleges across the world vie for the right to call themselves MATE Underwater ROV Champions! This year’s MATE World Championship is right around the corner on June 20-22. To help prepare for all the excitement, we’re taking a look at historical Dynasties in underwater robotics using the Institute of Competition Sciences “Power Points” system. This is a way to help measure the strength of a team over the years by assigning point values to awards they receive. You can see a little more about how we assign point values to different awards on our site here.

A total of 264 organizations have made it to the Underwater ROV World Championship the past decade. With the multilevel structure of the MATE Underwater ROV competition, teams must first win their regional program before being invited to participate in the World Championship. This means that even just getting to the Championship deserves significant recognition. But we’re even more interested in knowing which schools have had staying power in the World Championship over the years? Which schools can be called Underwater ROV Dynasties? There are actually two levels of Dynasties that it’s important to consider:

  1. Regional Dynasties: teams that have won their regional for their division at least four years in a row earning a spot on the roster for the World Championship.
  2. Championship Dynasties: teams that have been at the MATE Underwater ROV World Championships at least four years in a row, have been on the top four podium at least three of those years, and have had at least one first place finish during that time span.

Both of these types of Dynasties are very worthy of recognition. Just winning your MATE regional and getting to the World Championship year after year is quite a feat. However, demonstrating a lasting ability to win at the World Championship over the years shows something even more powerful for the few schools and organizations that have managed this highest level of recognition.

 

Who are the Regional Dynasties?

Of course we’re all eager to see who the top World Championship Dynasties are with the 2024 competition right around the corner, but we’ll hold you in suspense for a minute while we cover the regional dynasties. Winning a regional competition for at least four years in a row is no easy task. Only 33 organizations have been able to do this at all over the last decade. 25 of these are noted in the table below for their Regional Dynasties. The other eight have gone even further, earning recognition as “Championship Dynasties” for their incredible dominance and staying power at the global stage.

 

These 25 organizations have all earned the right to call themselves MATE Underwater ROV Dynasties for their incredible staying power at the World Championship stage. A few of these were on the verge of making the cut to be considered a Championship Dynasty but fell just a little short, missing just one more placement on the top 4 podium (Palos Verdes, Greater New Bedford, AMNO & Co, Seal Robotics, and Arab Academy for ST&MT).

This year, one group has a chance to move up the ranks and become a new “Championship Dynasty” with a win in the 2024 World Championship (Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School), but this won’t be easy.

 

Who are the Championship Dynasties?

Now, for the top of the top in MATE Underwater Robotics -the Championship Dynasties. These organizations have not only demonstrated staying power at the World Championship, but they have shown their skills earning spots on the top-four podium at least three times and have taken home the gold at least once during their run. In the past decade, only eight groups have managed this feat! We take a look at each of these groups below.

Even among the Championship Dynasties, you’ll be shocked when you see the #1 spot. It’s simply incredible what the top-ranked Championship Dynasty has accomplished over the decade, earning them our rightful shoutout for being the G.O.A.T. of the MATE Underwater Robotics Competitions!

So, here they are, a decade of Championship Dynasties in Underwater Robotics!

 

Championship Dynasty #8

Ozaukee High School, a Four-Year Dynasty from 2014 to 2017 with 18,500 pts: Ozaukee High School’s Dynasty peaked early in the decade, being on the podium three times during their four-year dynasty run: 4th place in 2014, 1st place in 2016, and 3rd place in 2017. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen Ozaukee back at the World Championship since then.

Championship Dynasty #7

North Paulding High School, a Six-Year Dynasty from 2017 to 2023 with 20,500 pts: as one of just three of our Championship Dynasties who are still active with their dynasty status, North Paulding has the biggest opportunity to move up the rankings. A first place win in 2024 would move them up two places to the #5 Ranked Dynasty, ahead of both Memorial University and Alexandria University. There’s precedence to think they might do it too, having been on the top-four podium all of the past three years: 1st place 2021, 4th place 2022, 3rd place 2023.

Championship Dynasty #6

Alexandria University, an Eight-Year Dynasty from 2014 to 2022 with 25,000 pts: tied for the second longest running dynasty at eight years, Alexandria University has definitely demonstrated staying power in the World Championship. Missing the championship last year unfortunately broke their dynastic run, but don’t count them out to get going again. They took home 3rd in 2017, 1st in 2018, and 3rd in 2021.

Championship Dynasty #5

Memorial University, a Seven-Year Dynasty from 2013 to 2019 with 29,000 pts: Memorial University has only missed the World Championship once in the past decade (2021), Unfortunately, this broke their dynastic run, but they’ve already been back at it, placing 3rd in 2022 and again reaching Worlds in 2023. If they keep it up this year, they’re well on their way to regaining Dynasty status! During their dynastic run they received 2nd place in 2013, 1st place in 2016, and 2nd place in 2015.

Championship Dynasty #4

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, an Eight-Year Dynasty from 2013 to 2021 with 36,000 pts: with an eight-year run, Hong Kong University is one of our longest running Dynasties. They also only missed the World Championships once in the last decade (2022). Although this knocked them out of being an active dynasty, they’re on their way back having again been on the World stage in 2023 and are competing again in 2024 with the hopes of advancing once again to Dynasty status.

Championship Dynasty #3

Center for Robotics Development, a Seven-Year Dynasty from 2015 to 2022 with 37,000 pts: our third highest ranking Championship Dynasty has placed on the top-four podium 5 out of their 7 Dynasty years earning 2nd place 2015, 4th place 2017, 1st and 4th place 2018, 2nd place 2019 and 1st place 2022. Unfortunately, they missed the Championship last year, knocking them out of active dynasty status.

Championship Dynasty #2

Macau Anglican College, a Six-Year Dynasty from 2017 to 2023 with 41,000 pts: our second ranking Dynasty is truly impressive, and is one of just three Championship Dynasties that are currently active and fighting to extend their dominance in 2024! Macau Anglican College has placed in the top-four podium in each of the last five years earning 1st place 2018, 4th place 2019, 1st and 4th place 2021, 1ast place 2022, and 2nd place 2023! They are one of just four organizations to win a first-place award in two or more years! An incredible feat. We can’t wait to see what happens with this team in the 2024 competition!

Championship Dynasty #1 – the G.O.A.T.

Jesuit High School, a Ten-Year Dynasty from 2013 to 2023, with 74,500 pts: our number one ranked Dynasty is a truly incredible group that has simply blown the competition out of the water when we consider their staying power at the World Championship! Jesuit High School is the ONLY group to have a ten-year dynasty. They are the ONLY group to have more than 3 first-place wins (earning a total of 6 first place trophies in 10 years!). They are the ONLY group to have a shot at a PERFECT four-year dynasty – if they take a first place award in 2024, they will have won first in all of the last four years! Looking at the numbers behind all of the World Championship teams, it only becomes more impressive what Jesuit High School has been able to achieve: 1st place 2013, 1st place 2014, 1st place 2015, 2nd place 2016, 3rd place 2019, 1st place 2021, 1st place 2022, and 1st place 2023. This year’s Championship is going to be an incredible experience. We’ll be holding our breath to see if they can make the first ever PERFECT Dynasty run with their 7th 1st place finish in the last 11 years!

 

Finding the Top dogs with Four-Year Power Points

One final and important way to evaluate the power of each team at the World Championship is to evaluate the trends in their four-year Power Points. Given the time that most students spend in high school or college, four-year analyses provide a good identification of the power of each team in the period relevant to each student. The graph below includes the four-year power points for each of our eight Championship Dynasties (summing the Power Points from their awards over those four years).

 

This graph helps us see the relative power of each dynasty over the years. For example, Jesuit High School really had two strong Dynastic peaks at the beginning and end of the decade making them the #1 Dynasty for the four-year periods ending in 2016 and 2017, but with a gap dropping their power rankings during the middle years of the decade, and now just regaining the #1 spot after strong performances the last few years. While others like Macau Anglican College (our overall #2 Ranked Dynasty) and North Paulding High School (#7 Ranked) are more recent additions to the Championship Dynasty cohort having only achieve that status in 2021 and 2023 respectively. This might mean a shift in the four-year power rankings after the 2024 World Championship.

Regardless, all of these teams deserve high praise and recognition for their incredible, long lasting staying power on the greatest underwater robotics stage out there. But this all begs a few big questions with the 2024 World Championship just days away … what happens now?

The Big Questions for the 2024 World Championship.

Who has the biggest Dynastic Opportunities?

With the 2024 World Championship three schools are already gaining Regional Dynasty status for having made the Championship: Palos Verdes High School, St. Francis Catholic School, and the University of Washington. One of these schools – St. Francis Catholic School – has the opportunity to join the coveted ranks of Championship Dynasties with any placement on the top-four podium.

Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School is already a Regional Dynasty, but with a 1st place win at this year’s World Championship, they have the opportunity to also join the Championship Dynasties.

Are there any Newcomers to Keep an Eye On?

Yes! Well, not exactly a newcomer, but in 2022, Cabrillo College hit the World Championship with a bang! At their first Championship event they took home a first-place trophy. Then, they turned around and did it again in 2023! This makes Cabrillo College one of only four groups that have managed two or more first place wins in the past decade! We’re going to be watching Cabrillo College closely in the 2024 Championship to see if they can make it a three-year run on the top!

Can anyone de-throne the G.O.A.T.?

This is the BIG question. How long can Jesuit High School’s dynasty last? Given that Jesuit High School has had the only decade-long Dynasty, and has nearly double the overall Dynasty Power Points for the whole decade than the next strongest Dynasty – Macau Anglican College – even if Macau were to take 1st place this year, and Jesuit were to falter and not make the top-four podium, Jesuit High School would still have the most power points for the decade.

However, it is more accurate in terms of current power rankings to look at the four-year power points. Jesuit High School hasn’t always been the strongest in the four-year power rankings (as seen in the dip in their blue line during the middle years of the decade in the chart above), however, they did retake the #1 spot last year. Jesuit High School is going to have to fight to keep it though. Macau Anglican College could match or overtake the G.O.A.T. again in the four-year power rankings if they can net 5000 more power points. This would mean Macau taking first and Jesuit taking anything 3rd place or lower; Macau taking 2nd and Jesuit taking anything 4th or lower; or Macau taking 3rd and Jesuit not placing in the top-four podium. It’s going to be an epic struggle at this year’s World Championship between these two powerhouse robotics teams to see who comes out on top for the current four-year power rankings!

Additionally, to make it even more interesting this year, Jesuit High School has something unique to fight for. They have the opportunity to achieve the first ever PERFECT four-year Dynasty Power Ranking! With a first place win this year, Jesuit High School will have four first place finishes in the past four years. This has never happened before at all in the last decade of the MATE Championship!

Wherever your team stands in the ICS Dynasty Rankings, everyone has something to fight for in this year’s MATE Underwater ROV World Championship, and it is gearing up to be one heck of a competition. We’ll follow up with more after all the action is done to update on where our Dynasties stand and who has the top four-year rankings at the end of the 2024 competition!

If you’re interested in following along, you can watch the MATE Underwater ROV World Championship live from anywhere in the world on the competition’s Twitch Channel, June 20-22! And don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to the ICS Newsletter here!