ENGINEERING

DESIGN PHILOSOPHY

ROBOTS.FISH is a fleet (school?) of small underwater vehicles being developed by the CERC.OCEAN Lab at Dalhousie University under Dr. Doug Wallace for rapid response to small-scale ocean events/"happenings" (<10 km on a horizontal scale).

Our overarching goal is to make underwater research platforms accessible to a broader end-use community by reducing the cost and level of technical skill required to own, operate, modify, and maintain them.

 

Our related sub-goals are to:

  • Promote use of underwater vehicles by small research teams and individuals, including those working outside of specialized research institutions, major industries, and the defense sector

  • Allow for rapid deployment in remote, inaccessible locations

  • Increase payload flexibility and interoperability to allow diverse scientific missions without the delays and high costs of non-recurring engineering supplied by manufacturers

  • Reduce costs of acquisition and use to meet budgets of a broader variety of end-users

 

To demonstrate the opportunity provided by new technology and to accelerate its development, we focused on using existing, commercially available vehicles as a base platform, which had to meet the following criteria: 

  • Cost: US$20K maximum

  • Size: capable of deployment and recovery by one person 

  • Payload capacity: adequate space and power to support a “scientifically useful” sensor payload

For scientific purposes, the base platform also had to be:

  • Flexible: ability to accommodate a multi-sensor payload in a manner that allows for quick and easy sensor swapping in the field  

  • Configurable: supplied with open-source or non-proprietary architecture, allowing direct sensor integration 

 

Scroll down to learn more about the tools and platforms we've developed.

REMOTELY-OPERATED VEHICLES

(ROVs)

 

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-1

environmental monitoring

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (chlorophyll)

oxygen sensor

pH sensor

1080p video camera

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Bras d'Or Lake, NS, Canada

Ohmsett assembly_edited.png

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-2

oil spill characterization

3 x fluorescence sensors (crude oil)

temperature sensor

1080p video camera

Ohmsett research facility, NJ, USA

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

ROV.FISH-3

in-situ burn residue characterization

fluorescence sensor (crude oil)

temperature sensor

water sampler

4K video camera

1080p video camera

scanning sonar

none (yet!)

 

AUTONOMOUS UNDERWATER VEHICLES

(AUVs)

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-1

dye tracer tracking

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (rhodamine dye)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Gulf of St. Lawrence, QC, Canada

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-2

environmental monitoring

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (turbidity)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Bras d'Or Lake, NS, Canada

NAME

PURPOSE

PAYLOAD

MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS

AUV.FISH-3 ("MILLI")

dye tracer tracking

conductivity and temperature (CT) sensor

fluorescence sensor (rhodamine dye)

Bedford Basin, NS, Canada

Gulf of St. Lawrence, QC, Canada

 

REFERENCES

  1. FDFD

Last revised: May 2, 2020​