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MESOBOT Development Project

A new NSF OTIC funded project is underway to design and build: “Mesobot: A Robot for Investigating the Ocean Interior”. Mesobot will be a small underwater vehicle operated as a robot that will have an array of sensors and sufficient artificial intelligence to be able to track slow-moving individual targets such as migrating mid-water animals, descending particles, and rising bubbles and droplets either while tethered or autonomously in the upper 1000 m of the water column. It will be able to take pumped-filter samples for small zooplankton, environmental DNA, and particles as well as water and filtrate samples.This robot will be used in a WHOI project intended to develop an integrated science and technology program to understand the structure and dynamics of the Mesopelagic "Twilight" Zone” including an improved understanding of midwater ecosystems, especially the biological carbon pump, and highlighting the anthropogenic threats to the ocean's interior biota including climate change and overfishing.

Funding Agencies

nsfThe National Science Foundation OTIC program provided funding for the development of Mesobot.


This is a joint project between scientists and engineers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, , the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Moss Landing, CA, and Stanford University, Stanford, CA.