A full description of the challenge can be found in the

Greater Philadelphia Sea Perch Challenge2014 Competition Specification

Competition General Rules

Updated 2/6/14

1. On competition day teams will compete in 4 categories: two Pool Performance Challenges,one Oral Poster Presentation and Spirit & Sportsmanship.

2. Trophies for first, second and third place for Engineering Design Notebook, Oral Poster Presentation, Vehicle Performance and Team Spirit and Sportsmanship. Vehicle Performance awards are a combined score of both pool rounds,

First and second place pool performance winners receive an invitation to represent the Greater Philadelphia SeaPerch Region at the National Competition.

3. Overall GPSPC Winners - Each team will receive a score for each of the four competition categories listed above. Scores from all categories except Team Spirit & Sportsmanship will be combined to determine the overall GPSPC Champion. There will one overall Middle School Champion and one High School Champion.

4. American Society of Naval Engineers-Delaware Valley, (ASNE-DV)-Simulated Navy Contract Cash Award- A $100.00 cash award presented to the middle school and high school teams that are identified as the Overall GPSPC Winners. First and second place winners will be invited to participate in the annual American Society of Naval Engineers (ASNE) symposium.

5. Atlantic Rangers Scuba Club, Against All Odds Award - An award presented to one middle school and one high school team that overcomes the most significant obstacle(s) and still competes in the challenge.

6. Only two team members are allowed on the pool deck during a competition. One driver and a second person on deck will have control of the tether. The second person can also deploy the ROV in the pool remove it and any other objects from the pool.

7. All team members must wear shoes with rubber soles on the pool deck.

8. Each team should bring their own battery to the pool. Make sure your battery is fully charged.

9. Each SeaPerch ROV must complete a safety and maneuverability compliance check during check-in,and approved prior to the team competing in the pool events. (refer to the 2014 SeaPerch GPSPC Competition Specification document)

10. In the event that a vehicle is inadvertently interfered with during a competition, or a malfunction of a vehicle's parts (i.e., the motor) occurs that is beyond the design and construction, the lead pool judge will have the sole authority to provide the team time to fix their vehicle and to allow them to compete later in the round. Malfunctions will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Craft Design and Modification Rules

Teams are encouraged to think outside the box and change the shape and configuration of the SeaPerch ROV.

Vehicles shall consist of the parts and components contained within the equivalent of one SeaPerch kit, with the following exceptions:

  • Teams have a budget of $20.00 to modify the SeaPerch. It is the actual value of the modifications that must be $20 or less. Donated material should be assessed at what the cost would be to procure the material. The $20 limit is for costs of the materials utilized on the final competition vehicle. Reasonable spare parts are not included in this budget.
  • No dimension shall be larger than 22" (minimum obstacle diameter)
  • Hooks and attachments may be added/removed depending on the competition round.
  • Additional motors may be utilized for actuation or other non-propulsion uses. Motors may be found at Jameco P/N 232022.
  • Teams may only utilize stock SeaPerch motors in thrusters (Jameco P/N 232022).
  • Teams may not add additional thrusters to the SeaPerch. A thruster is defined as a means of propulsion for the SeaPerch, normally but not limited to a motor and propeller assembly.
  • Teams will design for and utilize a 12-volt power source. Over charging or stacking batteries is not allowed.
  • The vehicle may be worked upon by the teams during the competition at the triage station.
  • The vehicle cannot be dragged via the tether.

Challenges and Disputes

Sportsmanship is expected at all times. Should a protest or dispute occur during the competition it is the intent to resolve the grievance at the time it occurs, and the ruling by the Head Judge shall be final.

A team that wishes to have an issue considered shall send the student team captain and one additional student member (2) to the lead judge with the inquiry or question. The lead judge will make the decision on the issue, and this decision is final. The same issue may not be brought to the judge a second time by any member of the team. Adults may not approach the lead judge on the pool deck regarding any perceived issues.

Teams may not question the legality of other competing vehicles; it is the Lead Compliance Judge's role to determine if vehicles meet the entry and compliance requirements.

Unsportsmanlike conduct is grounds for the disqualification of a team. Team members and advisors are responsible for the conduct of all members and adults accompanying the team.

Competition Events

Obstacle Course

An underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV)must beable to maneuver successfully under its own power. If a vehicle cannot maneuver to the appropriate location to perform its task, the vehicle is of no use.

The submerged obstacle course involves large rings (22" – 24” minimum diameter), oriented in any direction, through which the vehicles must travel. Teams must navigate through the obstacle course, surface, then re-submerge and return through the course in reverse order to the end. Consideration of optimal maneuverability, control, and speed should be given when constructing your Sea Perch (thruster placement and orientation, tether attachment, buoyancy and ballast, etc.) and control box. The judge will verify your team made it through the last hoop & broke the surface of the water with your craft. If your team is not able to make it through a hoop, you may skip it.

Scores for this round will be based on the fastest time for successfully navigating the obstacle course.

There are five (5) hoops in the obstacle course. You will be given a total of no more than 10 minutes to make it through the course.

The vehicle cannot be dragged through the obstacle course via the tether.

The judge’s stopwatch will begin when the whistle blows and stop when your team makes it back through the first hoop and surfaces on the end where you started.There are five (5) -22" diameter hoops in the obstacle course.

The Heist

Security Wall

The course is consisted of a security wall, spanning the lane from bottom to surface. The wall, when installed, will stand 2’ below the surface of the pool. The security wall is made of ½ “PVC pipe and fittings. The security wall is covered with a wire mesh, similar to chicken wire.

NOTE: The Nationals course is designed for a 12’ deep pool.

The course is consisted of a security wall, spanning the lane from bottom to surface. The wall, when installed, will stand 2’ below the surface of the pool. The security wall is made of ½ “PVC pipe and fittings. The security wall is covered with a wire mesh, similar to chicken wire.

Access Door

3’ below the surface will be the access door. The door sits within a 24” opening in the middle of the wall. The access door is constructed of ½” PVC pipe and fittings. In order to open the access door, the operator will have to manipulate a simple latch and push the door open. The access door is covered with a wire mesh. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a probe of some sort and attach it to the ROV for operating the latch.


There will be two underwater mines protecting the locked gate that must be cleared from the bottom of the pool before the ROV can safely maneuver forward to retrieve the boxes. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a probe of some sort and attach it to the ROV for releasing the mines from the pool floor.

Communication Box

Beyond the mines, there will be six visually identical communication boxes. The operator will have to attempt to retrieve as many of the boxes as possible in the time provided. Retrieved boxes will have to then be transported to the end of the pool, on the operator’s side of the wall to be scored. The boxes are visually identical. Each box is constructed from a Jameco –part 18914, is 4.875” x 2.5”, with a ¼” Polypropylene line as a handle by which they can bepicked up and transported. The boxes will contain varying weights. The weights will range from very light to very heavy. For this challenge, the Sea-Perch teams must design a hook of some sort and attach it to the ROV for retrieving the boxes. Normal Sea Perch design and construction will allow the ROV to retrieve the lightweight and middleweight boxes from the pool floor. To lift and retrieve the heavyweight boxes, the ROV alone is not enough to do this job. The Sea-Perch teams must design a way to overcome the additional weight. Consideration of buoyancy, thrust, hook placement and attachment, camera placement and attachment, and ballasting become very important in this mission.

Weight of Communication Boxes







Cameras (high school only)

ROVs designed and operated by High School teams must usecameras for this mission. Two team members are allowed on the pool deck for the Heist event.One driver and one person on deckto control the tether deploy the ROV in the pool and remove it, and any other objects from the pool. The second person can give verbal directional commands to the driver. The ROV driver will be behind a screen with only the camera’s monitor for viewing the maneuvers of the ROV.

Each team should bring their camera battery to the pool.

NOTE: Nationals does not require the use of a camera.

Refer to the 2014 GPSPC Competition Specification document for additional details.


Poster and Presentation Judging

All teams must include the following in their presentation:

Allteamsmustinclude thefollowing in their presentation:


–Companyname,size, and demographics

–Mission/Vision statementwith an emphasisonnavalengineering

–Organizationof thecompany explained

•Recruiting Methods

–How did the company recruit new members

•Budgetinformationand implementation

–Identifyadditions and modifications to theSeaPerch

–Explainanytrade-offs of the modifications

•Designand ManufacturingProcessEngineeringProcess


–Designresearch (naval engineering research)

–Identifytechnicalcalculationsortestingconductedand designpriorities



•Useof computertechnology

  • High School – must hand out a corporate brochure to the clients which must include

Each team member is required to answer questions from the judges?

Electronic media, physical models, additional posters, or other items can be used by a team to supplement their Poster Presentation. Any additional equipment including computers with special software must be furnished by the team.

Professional printing of the poster is permitted but will not be calculated into the final score.

The poster size shall not exceed 36” x 48”.

A maximum of eight team members and one advisor will be allowed to staff the poster during the judging. All team members present must participate in giving the presentation. The presentation may be videotaped by one of the eight representatives and must be done without causing a disturbance.

Teams will have 10 minutes to present their poster and 5 minutes answer follow-up questions by the judges.

Teams are advised to arrive at their designated presentation area 10 minutes prior to their scheduled start time. Teams who are more then 5-minutes late will not be allowed to present.

The 2014 Rubric is available for review in the 2014 GPSPC Competition Specification document.

Team Spirit and Sportsmanship

Teamsareencouragedtoshowtheirteamspiritduringthecompetition.Judgeswillwatch throughoutthecompetitiontodeterminetheteamswith thehighestlevelsof teamspirit.

Eachteamshallsittogetherinthebleachersofthepoolarea.Teamsareaskedtohavea teamflagtoidentifytheirteamtothejudges.

Drums, plastic bottles containing beads, cow bells, and bull horns and all percussion instruments are strictly prohibited.

Flagspecificationsshall conformto:

•Maximumflagpoleheightis 7feet


•Theflag shall prominentlydisplaytheschoolandteamnames

•Amaximumof 1flagperschoolisallowed

The sportsmanship award will be determined through a voting process. Teams will be observed by competition judges. Teams displaying sportsmanship will be nominated by the judges and the nominations will be placed in a voting box. The lead Spirit & Sportsmanship judge will make the final decision on the winner by calculating the combined Spirit & Sportsmanship scores.

Engineering Design Notebook Overview

The Engineering Design Notebook shall be electronically submitted in an approved file and within file size limitations specified in advance of the competition. The deadline for Notebook submittals is 5:00 pm on April 04, 2014. Notebooks will not be accepted after the deadline.

  • Maximum file size – 3MB
  • Formatted as an Adobe PDF or MS Word .doc
  • No more than 20 pages long (includes cover page)
  • Must contain receipts for design costs

The Engineering Design Notebook must document how teams implemented the engineering process. The Design Notebooks shall include the following sections:

  • Front Matter
  • Naval Engineering Research
  • Design, Engineering, and Manufacturing Process
  • Naval Scenario for SeaPerch
  • Teamwork
  • Bill of Material
  • Supporting Documentation

Refer to page 7 in the 2014 GPSPC Competition Specification document for a complete rubric for the Design Notebook Guide.