In case you saw any activity at our headquarters the Paint Factory in Gloucester, MA on Sunday, we had Discovery Channel News on site filming a segment on SnotBot with our Robotics Program partners, Olin College of Engineering.
Dr. Andrew Bennett and his students brought a couple of different versions of SnotBot and SnotShot assemblies to demonstrate. To recap: SnotBot is a drone that will ultimately fly over a whale’s blow to collect a sample; SnotShot is a machine that simulates a whale blow with a spray of water to allow us to practice collecting blows; and SnotYacht is a Colorado XT pontoon boat to carry SnotShot to allow us to practice over water. Here is a demonstration of the team in action:
The day started a little windier than we would have liked, gusting to 18 knots–conditions that we normally would not have flown in, but we pushed ahead. We did some tests over land and then we put SnotShot on our SnotYacht for tests over water. The recent upgrade to SnotBot was an ultrasonic height sensor that would shoot the SnotShot automatically when it sensed a drone above it. This saves us from having an operator manually shoot the SnotShot when he/she thought the drone was above it.
It was a great day to put our newly equipped robotics lab to work:
Ocean Alliance staff were on site from 9 am to 5 pm for probably what will be no more than a five minute piece, but it was a good day and a good team effort by all. We will keep you posted as to the release date.