Underwater Drones Making Deep Sea Citizen Scientist

So want to know what’s on the top of my Christmas list this year? You need look no further than the underwater drones from OpenROV. I’ve been watching this product for some time and it looks like it’s finally about to be released.

Not only will this allow from some cool footage but read below no how it’s being used by the science community and citizen scientists world wide.

“If you’re inviting everyone to get involved and to collect data, science becomes more than just a headline. It’s something that people are engaged in,” David Lang

Underwater Drones

Underwater drones are opening up a whole new frontier of exploration. The lightweight vehicles can zip along coral reefs, explore marine life and even go inside shipwrecks.

The remote-controlled drones cut through the water like a fish and can turn on a dime.

“Trident” is the newest model to come out of a Kickstarter campaign launched by David Lang and Eric Stackpole. While the technology is complex, the idea is simple: to let anyone become an explorer — a so-called citizen-scientist.

Jacques Cousteau

Undersea exploration began with Jacques Cousteau in the 1940s. As a kid, and remember this was before ‘cable’ I use to anxious wait for his next installment of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau”, had every book he had ever written, and even visited his exhibit in the belly of the RMS Queen Mary.

In 2013, Oscar-winning director James Cameron designed and built a one-man sub to explore the deepest part of the Pacific nearly seven miles down. Trident can only dive about the length of a football field, but that’s deep enough to explore countless shipwrecks.

“Technology has allowed us to give that to everyone. They’ve been used to find ancient Mayan pottery in underwater caves in Mexico. They’ve been used in Antarctica to explore under the ice,” Stackpole explained. “People took them to Mount Everest and explored a lake that’s one of the highest altitude lakes in the world.”

Last summer, Stackpole sent his drone into Lake Tahoe where they found the remains of a steamer ship known as the “Queen of the Lake.”

Laura James

Closer to home, Laura James used her first generation drone to document the die-off of sea stars here in Puget Sound. She shared her footage with scientist to help in their search for answers. It’s widely believed that climate change was the trigger. You can see more of Laura work here.


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