SeaMATE Barracuda ROV Kit

This is a general guide for building a SeaMATE Barracuda ROV.  The complete instruction guide for the build can be found here - additional presentations and activities to facilitate teaching the build are below. 

The Barracuda ROV with Thrusters and Tether Kit can be purchased here, standards alignments for all Barracuda ROV lessons can be downloaded here

Many of the presentations have instructor added audio files.  Click the audio icon in the top left corner of each slide to hear a MATE instructor’s audio presentation of the slide.   Click here to download this guide as a .pdf.

Kits/Equipment Materials to Order:

The following materials should be ordered for every Barracuda build. 

*Barracuda ROV kits may be taken apart and re-used for future builds.  Just the unassembled control box can be replaced with a Barracuda Control Box Kit.

The following materials need to be ordered only once.  They can be re-used for future ROV Barracuda builds. 

  • 1 Power Supply with GFCI plug-in for every 2 groups of students.  Note that if you do not have a source of AC electricity (wall outlet) near your pool, alternative methods of powering the ROV may be needed.  
  • 1 ROV-in-a-Bag Assembled Angelfish Kit per group of students
  • 1 set of PVC and fittings from hardware store and 30 cm of foam from big box stores / dollar stores per group of students for the ROV-in-a-Bag activity. 
  • 1 set of tools to construct the ROV kit per group of students.    Some consumables may need to be purchased repeatedly. 
  • 1 Simple Circuits Lab Kit per group of students. 
  • 1 Frame Pool used for practice and testing.  Not needed if you have full time access to a larger pool.  Note:  Purchase in wintertime for large discount; prices tend to increase in springtime.
  • 1 set of simple missions.  Pool rings are a simple item to easily pick up from the bottom of the pool.  Alternatively, the Spanish Galleon Competition offers a more complex mission for ROVs to complete.  Alternatively you can use MATE ROV Competition missions from past years. 
Introduction to Remotely Operated Vehicles
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 1, sections 1.1 to 1.3, pages 1-38.  Chapter 2, section 2.1 - 2.2, pages 66-84
2 hours

Quick ROV Building

20 minutes

The Mission

Instructor Resources Barracuda: How to Implement ROV-in-a-Bag
How to Get a Team Started
Standards NGSS, Common Core, ISTE, P21


Tools and System: Frame
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 4, sections, page 183; section 4.9, pages 195-202
20 - 30 minutes


2 hours

Computer Aided Design (optional

1 hour

ROV Frame

30 minutes

Team Building

  • Presentation/Activity: Company Formation - Teams come up with a company name, ROV name, and tagline
  • Presentation/Activity: Teams present their company name, ROV name, and tagline
Instructor Resources Tools and Tool Management in the Classroom
Standards NGSS, Common Core, ISTE, P21


Basic Electronics
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 8, section 8.4, pages 377-388; Section 8.6-8.7, pages 392-434.  Chapter 9, Section 9.4 - 9.4.4, pages 466-472.
1 hour


Instructor Resources Simple Circuits Lab Key
Standards NGSS, Common Core, ITEEA


Systems: Power, Analog Control, Tether, Propulsion, and Sensors
Troubleshooting (fixing problems)

Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 7, sections 7.5, pages 319-323.  Chapter 8, section 8.7.4, pages 425-428.  Chapter 9, section 9.4 - 9.4.4, pages 466-473
1.5 hours


20 minutes

ROV Power System

6 hours

ROV Analog Control System

45 minutes

ROV Tether System

2 hours

ROV Sensor System - Optional

45 minutes

ROV Propulsion System

1.5 hours


Standards NGSS, Common Core, ISTE, ITEEA


Converting from Analog to Digital
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 9, sections 5.1-5.7, pages 479-496.
1 hour

Digital Control

30 minutes

Computer Programming


Digital Troubleshooting

Standards NGSS, Common Core, ISTE, ITEEA


System: Payload  
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 10, section 10.2.4, pages 543-544  
1 hour     


Standards NGSS, Common Core, ISTE, ITEEA  


System: Buoyancy / Ballast
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Chapter 6, section 6.1 -6.2, and Tech Notes from Section 6.3, pages 252-267. Section 6.6, pages 277-282
1 hour

Buoyancy and Ballast

Standards NGSS, Common Core, ITEEA


ROVs Outside the Classroom
1 hour

The MATE ROV Competition

30 minutes

Virtual Field Trips

30 minutes

The Marine Workforce

  • Presentation: The Ocean Workforce (additional resources, here)
2 hours

Exploring the Ocean

Instructor Resources Directed Learning Questions Searches
Standards Ocean Literacy, NGSS, Common Core, ISTE


Safety and Operations
Underwater Robotics textbook reading: Safety Notes and Safety Considerations (41 references), see Index, page 765, Safety Considerations
20 minutes               


1 - 3 hours


  • Activity:  Operating in a pool to achieve the mission tasks
Instructor Resources

NTSA: Safety, Safety in the Classroom, Lab & Field, Safety Acknowledgement Form (High School)

ITEEA: Safety