Co-Lin Seawolves finish in Top Ten at international competition

Seawolves photoFor the Co-Lin Seawolves Underwater Robotics Engineering (S.U.R.E.) team the tradition of success continues. For the fifth time in a row, the Seawolves have placed in the top ten at the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) International Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Competition placing ninth at this year’s competition held in Long Beach, California. The Seawolves competed against robotics teams from all corners of the globe including Norway, India, Indonesia, and Turkey. The winning team was The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The Seawolf VI, this year’s underwater robot, was put to the ultimate test during the competition, being challenged to complete tasks underwater within a short amount of time. According to Co-Lin physics and engineering instructor and team co-founder Dr. Kevin McKone the competition this year was more intense than ever.

“The robotics teams have stepped up their game relative to what we have seen in the past. The tasks the robot had to complete underwater were much more difficult as well,” said McKone.

Team co-founder and Co-Lin electronics instructor Carey Williamson echoed McKone sentiments.

“It’s not only the difficulty of the tasks but also the quantity of tasks to complete in only 15 minutes,” said Williamson.

In addition to completing tasks with the underwater robot, the team is judged on their marketing display, technical documentation, and product presentation. McKone said the product marketing and presentation is just as important as the performance of the robot in the pool.

“You have to be able to sell your product to the judges in the presentation and demonstration.”

McKone and Williamson give credit to Seawolves team CEO Reginald King for this year’s success.

“He (King) was instrumental this year from the very first phase of design all the way to completing and testing the robot,” said Williamson. “Reginald put hundreds of hours of work into designing this year’s robot, Seawolf VI,” said McKone.

King says he has been involved with the design and construction of three robots for the Seawolves during his time as a student and admits it is hard work.

“During the design phase I probably had anywhere from 400-450 individual sketches for the Seawolf VI, trying to get the design just right,” said King. “I’ve always liked watching How It’s Made and the whole manufacturing process but actually being a part of the process and seeing it all put together is probably the most exciting part.”  

Being a part of the Seawolves is more than just the competition. The team is completely student-driven, giving them the unique opportunity to learn skills in electronics, engineering, drafting, and marketing outside of the classroom. King is thankful for the opportunity to work with the Seawolves and learn skills he can now use to finish his degree in engineering.

“It’s all about the students and what they learn,” said Williamson. “The cultural exposure they’re able to get when we travel to competitions and meet other students from all over the world is priceless.”

McKone said he enjoys being able to see the students come together and compete as a team. “This year’s team really came together during the competition in Long Beach. Everyone knew their role and stayed focused on completing the job.”

Although they have not claimed the top spot just yet, the success of the Seawolves at international competition have put Co-Lin on the map in the world of robotics.

“Teams were coming up to us as soon as we arrived at check-in wanting to see our robot this year,” said King. “It was a constant flow of traffic in our room complementing our robot and asking about our design. These are students from all over the world and yet they know the name Co-Lin Seawolves.”

For more information about Seawolves Underwater Robotics Engineering, contact Dr. Kevin McKone at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CUTLINE: Members of the Co-Lin Seawolves Underwater Robotics Engineering team finished in ninth place at the international MATE Competition. Members of the team include kneeling, Abigail Hynum of Wesson; standing from left, Holly Steen of Wesson, Dezirae Katt of Bogue Chitto, Samuel Brister of Summit, Timothy Stogner of Bogue Chitto, Reginald King of Wesson, and Mary Thornton and Colby Phillips, both of Brookhaven.

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