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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

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



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 

Click on the images below to learn more.

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