71% of the Earth’s surface is covered in water. These oceans are historically unseen and untouched by humans. Yet increasingly, we need to engage with our oceans as a result of climate change, pollution, and other impacts of human influence. Oftentimes explorers, scientists, ecologists, and rescuers find themselves in underwater situations where they don’t have adequate tools to fulfill their mission. What if we had robots to aid us in our efforts underwater? What if these bots were inspired by the years of evolutionary adaptation that the natural world has undergone at these dark depths? Enter the world of deep sea robotics, where the underwater environment calls for a shift in the way robots are designed and deployed.
In this studio, students will develop robots that use the depth of the sea to their advantage as they maneuver through the sea floors, slither through the kelp forest, collect rare specimens, remediate damaged ecosystems, and protect against oceanic threats. Students will take inspiration from deep sea creatures and design devices and robots to carry out underwater missions to protect our oceans and cohabitate with diverse underwater ecosystems.