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.
To demonstrate the opportunity provided by new technology and to accelerate its development, we focused on using existing, commercially available Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) 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 ROV platforms we've developed.
Our first ROBOTS.FISH platform, ROV.FISH-1 was designed for measuring dispersed crude oil in surface waters. We only had two months to select a base vehicle and locate, borrow, and integrate the necessary sensors for the tank experiment (Ohmsett 2019). Many thanks to Elisa Miller (Blue Robotics) and Brian Robinson (Bedford Institute of Oceanography) - without their help, we would never have made the deadline.
ROV.FISH-2 was designed as a flexible platform to test sensor integration and to compare sensor measurements. It has been used mainly in the Bedford Basin (Halifax, Canada) and in the Bras d'Or Lake (Cape Breton, Canada) for environmental measurements. More information to come!
ROV.FISH-3 was designed as an improvement on ROV.FISH-1, based on lessons learned at (and since) the Ohmsett 2019 experiment. It was used alongside AUV.FISH-3 ("Milli") for oil spill detection during Ohmsett 2022. More information to come!
Blue Robotics Inc. (2023). Blue Robotics - Underwater ROVs. Retrieved from https://bluerobotics.com/
Government of Canada. (2022). Bedford Institute of Oceanography. Retrieved from https://www.bio.gc.ca/index-en.php
Blue Robotics Inc. (2023). BlueROV2 Heavy Configuration Retrofit Kit. Retrieved from https://bluerobotics.com/store/rov/bluerov2-upgrade-kits/brov2-heavy-retrofit/
Last revised: February 27, 2023