College of Science

Department of Applied Environmental Science

March 2013

Undergraduate students James McClure, Josh Ambrose, and Shelby Peters worked with Professor Steve Moore in the Ecosystem Electronics Lab (EEL) to design, build, and test six custom Remotely Operated Vehicles for educational outreach. The project was funded by the National Science Foundation through the Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI). The small, battery-powered ROVs can be operated safely from a dock or kayak. (That’s James and Josh testing one from a kayak off Catalina Island in the photo.) These ROVs are only a few months old, but they have already recorded high-definition undersea video of hundreds of fascinating marine species including sharks, octopuses, electric rays, and harbor seals. Three of the vehicles will live permanently at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on Catalina Island in southern California. Three more will reside in Monterey. EEL students are now working on the design of a low-cost ROV for deeper dives (>100 m) to support student and faculty marine biology research projects.

Story: Steve Moore.

James and Josh testing ROV from a kayak off Catalina Island
Seal and ROV
ROV and sea star