D-B EXCEL MATE Robotics

The R-Mateys

D-B EXCEL's R-Mateys Win Innovation Award at the MATE International Competition!

About the Competition:

The 2018 MATE competition highlights the role that ROVs play in supporting underwater archaeology, seismology, and renewable energy activities in the Pacific Northwest.


The 17th annual MATE international ROV competition took place June 21-23, 2018 at Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, WA, USA, with the awards ceremony taking place at the Hotel Murano in nearby Tacoma. Regional contests took place prior in the U.S. and around the world. Teams must compete at the nearest regional competition or complete a demonstration of their vehicle to earn the opportunity to move on to the international competition. Since April, nearly 8,000 students representing 715 teams have competed around the world in regional competitions! Over 800 students representing 65 teams from 19 countries qualified for the international competition in Federal Way, Washington


The competition requires students to think of themselves as “entrepreneurs” and transform their teams into companies that manufacture, market, and sell “products.” In addition to engineering their ROVs, the students are required to prepare technical documentation, marketing (poster) displays, and engineering presentations that are delivered to working professionals who serve as competition judges.


About the Award:

At the awards ceremony on the evening of Saturday, June 23rd, the R-Mateys won the Harry Bohm & Jill Zande “Sharkpedo” award. This award is named after Harry Bohm, the Project Manager at the Underwater Research Lab in Simon Frasier University's School of Engineering Science in Canada, as well as Jill Zande,the Associate Director, Co-Principal Investigator, and Competition Coordinator of MATE and the President of MATE Inspiration for Innovation (MATE II). The award was given to the team that demonstrated innovation, originality and the upmost ability to think "outside the box." The R-Mateys earned this award for their unique design implementations of their hydraulic and pneumatic safety pressure relief systems on their ROV. The R-Mateys were presented with a plaque, a certificate, a Wacom drawing tablet, and Amazon gift card, and a shark ROV built by an artist in Africa using washing up flip flops and plastic to encourage them to always think outside of the box.


The D-B EXCEL R-Mateys were represented at internationals by the following students:

  • Gavin Bentley: Gavin is a rising 11th grader at D-B EXCEL. He is the CEO of the R-Matey’s and Lead Project Electrical & Mechanical Engineer. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend Georgia Tech where he will major in Naval Engineering.
  • Quintin Folkner: Quintin is a rising 11th grader. He is the Vice President of the R-Matey’s as well as Pilot and Associate Mechanical and Electrical Engineer. Upon graduation, he hopes to attend Georgia Tech where he will major in Aerospace Engineering.
  • Braden DeBruin: Braden is a rising 10th grader. She is the Head of Documentation for the R-Matey’s. Upon graduation she hopes to attend United States Airforce Academy and eventually be a Medic in the Air Force.
  • Ashlee Wall: Ashlee is a rising 10th grader. She is the Head of Graphic Design for the R-Matey’s as well as Safety Officer. Upon graduation she hopes to attend the University of Tennessee and major in Occupational Therapy.
  • Shelby Rose: Shelby is a rising 11th grader. She is Head of Public Relations for the R-Matey’s. Upon graduation she hopes to attend Northeast State and have a future career at Eastman Chemical being a mechanic.
  • Richard Vautrin-Hickam: Richard is a rising 12th grader. He is the CAD engineer for the R-Matey’s. He hopes to enroll at the University of Tennessee and major in Engineering.

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R-Mateys at the Kingsport Mini Maker Faire

The R-Mateys will be at the Kingsport Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, July 21st from 9am until 1pm. We invite you to come visit the DBE booth so you can meet the team, see their ROV (Archie), and learn more about the D-B EXCEL MATE underwater robotics program!
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Kingsport Mini Maker Faire

Saturday, July 21st, 9am-1pm

Kingsport Civic Auditorium, 1550 Fort Henry Drive, Kingsport, TN

The Kingsport TN Mini Maker Faire is a yearly event that began in 2012 to showcase the creative individuals and groups of the Tri-Cities area in a fun and accessible way to the whole community. The Faire is free to attend and is held in mid-July during Kingsport’s summer festival – Fun Fest . The Mini Maker Faire draws over 1000 participants and over 35 exhibitors from the four states nearby (Tennessee, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.) The Kingsport Mini Maker Faire is a great outing for the entire family – the exhibits are intended to be hands-on and interactive, creative, unique and exciting and are aimed at a variety of ages. Bring your imagination and creativity, and take home ideas and inspiration!