The RANGER class is our intermediate level of competition.  Aimed at middle and high schools, the robots and missions become more complex and technologically advanced.  All missions are performed without looking in the pool, relying only on the sensors and cameras the team equipped their ROV with. 

RANGER class is most appropriate for: 

  • Middle Schools with robotics experience
  • High Schools
  • Community Colleges and Universities new to robotics

RANGER teams participate in regional events, with the top 1-2 teams (depending on the number of participating schools) advancing to the international competition. 

For more information about RANGER class, please visit our General Information Document.

For information about this year's RANGER class missions, please visit the RANGER Mission page.



Competition day for all classes:  Saturday, April 27th, Northeastern Illinois University Physical Education Complex at 5500 North St. Louis Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. Please note that all teams and spectators are only allowed use of the pool and gym areas. All other areas of the Physical Education Complex are off-limits.

Registration information:

  • MULTIPLE VEHICLES ARE NOT PERMITTED. Companies are required to design and build ONE ROV that can complete the necessary product demonstration tasks.
  • Only ONE registration total per school or organization. This means only ONE entry from each school/organization, NOT one for Ranger and one for Scout.
  • Only middle school and high school teams can register for the competition.
  • Registration will open in January.
  • Registration will close on April 1st or when all competition spots are full.

General Competition Information:

  • All company members and their supporters are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and responsible manner during the competition. Disrespectful behavior towards the judges, officials, pool staff, audience or other teams will lead to penalty points or disqualification.
  • Lunch will be provided for company members (i.e. students) and up to two mentors per company. Lunch tickets will be disseminated at registration.
  • During the competition, NO ADULTS (except for competition staff or volunteers) are allowed on the pool deck and speaking to any team from the pool viewing bleachers is prohibited. Violation of these will lead to penalty points or disqualification.


RANGER class:

The Ranger fee is $200.

The top one or two scoring Ranger teams will qualify to attend the International MATE Competition. The number of qualifying teams will depend on the overall number of teams registered to compete in the Ranger Class.


  • Safety check including Systems Integration Diagram (SID)

o   The Systems Integration Diagram is due at least two weeks before the regional competition.  Please send all SIDs to the Underwater Robotics Shedd Regional email at info@sheddmidwest.marinetech2.org by April 13th, 2019. SIDs must also be submitted to the safety judges the day of the competition in order to pass safety inspection and compete.  The SID must be drawn with a CAD (computer assisted drawing) program. Hand drawn figures are not permitted.

o   Adult company mentors may not participate in the safety check.

  • Marketing display

o   Companies should set up their marketing displays in the Northeastern Illinois University gym the morning of the competition. 

  • Product presentation

o   Product presentations will be given by students (location TBD). 

o   Adult company mentors may observe the product presentation; however, they cannot participate.

  • ROV Size and Weight Station

o   All RANGER ROVs will be checked for size and weight limits prior to product demonstrations. Smaller and lighter ROVs will receive point bonuses. For more information see the RANGER competition manual.

  • Product demonstrations

o   Companies shall provide a crew of at least three but no more than six people on the pool deck to operate the ROV System. Adult company mentors are not allowed on the pool deck. Communication between demo team members at the pool edge and demo team members piloting the vehicle will be limited. Only tether management issues can be discussed.

o   Each company will have one or two product demonstration attempts. The number of attempts will be dependent on overall competition registration and will be announced one week before the competition when schedules are released.

o   The Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional Competition will be offering all four Ranger Class product demonstration tasks.

  • Outreach and Inspiration

o   This is a new portion of the competition this year. Outreach and Inspiration efforts will be reviewed by competition coordinators and awarded 0 to 10 bonus points. For more information regarding the requirements for points, see the RANGER manual.

NOT Required:

  • Technical Report
  • Company Spec Sheet
  • Job Safety Analysis (JSA)

NOTE:  By submitting any documentation, you are giving the MATE Center permission to publish these documents on its web site.

Other important notes and dates:

  • All teams that include fluid power on their ROVs must take and pass the fluid power quiz. The fluid power quiz is available via the Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional Competition website registration. The fee is $15 for five attempts. No team may take more than five attempts to pass the quiz. The last day to pass the fluid power quiz is March 3rd.
  • Companies using a laser at the international event must inform the MATE Center and provide the laser specifications by March 2nd, 2019. Information and laser specifications should be sent to the Competition Technical Manager (mgardner@marinetech.org).

Competition set-up: 

On competition day, RANGER companies will get one or two attempts (dependant on registration numbers) at the product demonstration.  Each product demonstration time will consist of:

  • 5 minute set-up period
  • 15 minute product demonstration period
  • 5 minute demobilization period

If you do get two attempts, the higher of the two scores will be combined with the Engineering & Communication and Safety scores to determine the total, overall score for the competition.  

An event schedule will be released the week before the competition.  If companies have any time constraints that they wish the Shedd to consider, please contact the Underwater Robotics program manager at info@sheddmidwest.marinetech2.org by April 1st.  


The 2018 Shedd Midwest MATE ROV Regional competition will require exclusively Anderson Powerpole connections for all classes. All provided power supplies will only accommodate Anderson Powerpole connections.

Pool:  The pool has a slanted bottom.  The depth for the RANGER class product demonstrations is approximately 4 meters (14 feet)

Product Demonstration Station:  A table and two chairs will be provided at each product demonstration station.  The standard water platform will be used for Task #2.  A blank map with 0.25 meter grid lines will be available to companies at the start of the product demonstration for Task #3.

Shedd will NOT provide video monitors for RANGER class companies.  Companies must provide their own video displays.  See Vehicle Design & Building Specifications (3.8.2) in the RANGER competition manual for number of video displays allowed.

Diver Support:  Diver support will be available during the product demonstration runs, but any diver assistance will constitute a penalty.

PFDs:  Companies are not required to wear PFDs at the pool edge.  Shedd will NOT have PFDs available for use.

Power:  RANGER class companies will use a dedicated power supply that will provide the nominal 12 volts.  Onboard electrical power or power not provided by the tether, such as battery powered devices, is NOT allowed under any circumstance. Power supply connections will be Red/Black Anderson Powerpole Connectors. Companies’ ROV system power wires MUST have proper connectors to obtain power.

Pressurized cylinders:  All pressurized cylinders must be approved by the US DOT.

Shared equipment:  If you are planning on sharing equipment (monitors, pressurized cylinders), please contact the Underwater Robotics program manager at info@sheddmidwest.marinetech2.org by April 1st

Safety inspection: 

RANGER teams are expected to visit the safety inspection judges at the Safety Check Station during their designated time. RANGER companies should have a copy of their SID available for safety checks. 

Propellers must be shrouded.  ROVs that have propellers exposed will not pass the safety inspection and will not be allowed to compete. A shroud must completely encircle the propeller and extend at least 2 mm in front of and behind the propeller.

Companies that pass the safety inspection will be given a safety flag (or card).  Companies must present the safety flag to the product demonstration station judge in order to compete in the pool.  Companies that fail their safety inspection must address the issue and contact the safety judges to be re-inspected. Please note that only students may address the issues. Adult company mentors are NOT allowed to offer assistance.

The Shedd Midwest ROV MATE Regional will not be offering points for a job site safety analysis (JSA) or extra safety component points.