They will explain how providing a platform that is accessible to a majority of ocean stakeholder groups and can operate in marine and freshwater systems empowers researchers, citizen scientists, and conservation workers. Underwater robots provide the ability to broadcast discoveries in real time, allowing both greater participation from the general public and more transparency. Low cost, open source underwater robots, like the OpenROV, are a powerful tool that can fundamentally alter the way people interact with the oceans. The OpenROV 2.8 and OpenROV Trident are among the most capable underwater robots available to consumers. Their open source architecture makes the eminently expandable and hackable, presenting a tremendous opportunity to ocean stakeholders with particular needs and a limited budget. Both are capable of diving to 100 meters, are extremely portable, and have a 2 hour+ endurance. For this demonstration, the capabilities of both OpenROVs will be discussed, along with the description of field projects that have successfully used OpenROVs. The legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of small underwater robots (particularly with regard to interactions with marine mammals and in the transport of invasive species) also will be explored.
Andrew Thaler of OpenROV and Joey Maier of Polk State will present a demonstration on Openrov and Openrov Trident: Democratizing Exploration, Conservation, and Marine Science Through Low-Cost Open-Source Underwater Robots on Saturday, April 2nd at 1:30 PM at the University of Miami Newman Alumni Center in Coral Gables, Florida.