A school robotics team sponsored by rugged connector and component manufacturer Bulgin won third place overall in the 2019 MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) International ROV competition, with connectors from Bulgin featured in the design. Among the 24 other schools that qualified in the Explorer age group final, a California-based high school’s robotics team had decided to use Bulgin’s PX0413/03P rear panel mount connectors in their design.
“The MATE competition in 2019 was focused on lakes and rivers… so we were looking at things like dam repair, environmental monitoring and archaeological recovery. We had to add more autonomous features, which required better vision capabilities, so we started implementing these digital vision systems that required a lot of bandwidth, particularly ethernetbandwidth,” explained Michael Equi, Chief Technology Officer of the Jesuit Robotics team. “That’s why we used Bulgin, so that we could keep our connections waterproof and keep our modularity while still having a gigabit connection between the ROV and our topside computers.”
Bulgin offers free engineering support and samples to school students from all over the world taking part in the annual MATE competition. Bulgin also sponsored the international finals, which took place in June in Kingsport, Tennessee. Participants were challenged to show how they apply their STEM skills and had to organise themselves into mock companies to complete simulated missions with their robots in rivers, lakes and waterways.
“The thing we found with Bulgin was the reliability of the connectors; they mounted well, they were waterproof and consistently made a good connection,” said Jay Isaacs, the team’s head coach.
The PX0413/03P, which is from the Bulgin 400 Series of circular power connectors, is a rear panel mount connector that is water and dustproof to IP68 when mated with a compatible connector such as the PX0400, PX0402 or PX0410.
The 400 Series Buccaneer is one of the most compact connectors in the Buccaneer range ideal for designs requiring a small footprint to give designers greater flexibility. With a lightweight and rugged construction, these sealed circular plastic connectors offer highly reliable power or signal connections for use within applications where space is limited; including medical, industrial, infrastructure and automotive.