Skunk Works Remote Operated Vehicle

Wins 2004 Monterey Bay Regional Ranger Class ROV Competition


Who are we?  

Skunk Works ROV is a small independent group of students  with a common desire to build and fly submersible ROVs.  We began this project to see if we could build a low cost ROV as a hobby and we hoped to gain enough knowledge to participate in the 2005 Competition.  From our humble beginnings on January 10, 2004, with nothing more than a bag full of fittings and some pipe, we have come a long way.  The first flight of our home built ROV was on February 29, 2004 in a swimming pool, the drive components and controls functioned perfectly.  Low cost has gone out the window as we learned that R&D (Research & Development) while necessary can be expensive.

We participated in the Monterey Bay Regional ROV Competition on April 17, 2004 and it was an incredible experience.  MATE and the people at MPC (Monterey Peninsula College) did a wonderful job.  At the Competition we took First Place in two categories and tied for the Harry Bohm Sharkpedo Award for innovation.  This qualified us to participate in the National Competition.  We now look forward to competing in the  2004 MATE Center/MTS National ROV Competition June 25-27, 2004 at the University of California Santa Barbara.

What is a Skunk Works?

As a generic term, it dates from the 1960s: A small group of experts who drop out of the mainstream of a company’s operations in order to develop some experimental technology or new application in secrecy or at speed, unhampered by bureaucracy or the strict application of regulations (Kelly Johnson formulated 14 visionary rules for running such an operation, which are still regarded as valid even now). It is also sometimes used for a similar group that operates without top-level official knowledge or support, though usually with the tacit approval of immediate management.  (

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