Grassmap #DriftCam - 14/09/2021

University of Southampton, University of the Balearic Island (UIB) Systems, Robotics and Vision Group and University of Sydney (USydney) Australian Centre for Field Robotics Marine Group are off the coast of Mallorca deploying the UIB Sparus II and UoS FloatyMcFloatface to perform seafloor visual mapping using very different observation strategies.


Sparus II will gather data along machine-generated trajectories designed to optimally sample different types of "habitat", based on the work of Jackson Shields from USydney (Feature Space Exploration For Planning Initial Benthic AUV Surveys).

FloatyMcFloatface, or DriftCam, on the other hand, will just go with the flow, drifting along on underwater currents while keeping a fixed altitude off the seafloor to gather high-quality images. The exact trajectories won't be controlled, but the deployment locations of Floaty will be determined based on sea current predictions for the deployment area. 

The cruise is part of the Eurofleets+ Grassmap campaign, funded by the EU Eurofleets Transnational Access Program, and it has been picked up by the local news.

Loch Ness #BioCam

Final preparations for the Oceanids Cruise JC220. BioCam on the National Oceanography Centre's  ALR (a.k.a. BoatyMcBoatFace) in Loch Ness. Great job by the NOC MARS team for a very neat and tidy integration onto ALR.

RV Gunnerus #DriftCam

In the field surveying cold-water coral at the Tantra ridge in Trondheim Fjord working (virtually) alongside the ACFR Marine Systems group to deploy our "Floaty McFloatFace" passive drifting imaging float under the EU Marine Robotic Transnational Access (TNA) program. Great support from NTNU AUR Lab, their platforms and the crew of RV Gunnerus!

DY108/109 #BioCam

First BioCam deployment using Autosub6000. Dataset is up on Squidle+.

The engineers (top left to bottom right):  Richard Austin-Berry, Phil Bagley, Rachel Marlow, Eoin O Hobain, Owain Shepherd (MARS, NOC) David Stanley, Takaki Yamada, Blair Thornton, Jose Cappelletto, Adrian Bodenmann, Miquel Massot Campos (UoS)

FK180731 #Adaptive Robotics (Go to data)

Wrap-up and wrap-up closing blog entry.

Overview of data collected during the expedition

Results of 3D photogrammetric reconstruction of the Southern Hydrates Ridge (depth 780m) that was generated by the AUV Ae2000f and Tuna-Sand. The mapped area shown in the poster covers 11.8 ha at an average resolution of 6 mm and is the largest known expanse of seafloor that has been visually mapped in colour. Outputs of an unsupervised classifier were used to analyse the imagery between deployments and generated information summaries such as the image class tree-map. The detailed views show a white bacterial mat that was identified by the classifier, which was subsequently surveyed by the AUV Tuna-sand at sub-millimeter resolution to gather more detailed information. The arrows illustrates the direction from which the isometric view of the reconstructions.

Opening video and lauching blog entry.

Mid-expedition video and blog entry.


Team members on board the Falkor, FK180731

Team members on board the R/V Falkor, FK180731, Left to right: Tomoko Takahashi, Kazunori Nagano, Jennifer Walker, Adrian Bodenmann, Tetsu Koike, Blair Thornton, Miquel Massot, Jin Wei Lim, Yuya Nishida, Kiminori Shitashima

For press see impact.

Sesoko - monitoring coral reefs off the coast of Okinawa (Go to data)

Our team has been gathering seafloor 3D reconstructions of mesophotic coral off of Sesoko island - off Okinawa in a collaborative effort with the Harii Lab the Ryukyu University, IIS University of Tokyo, ACFR University of Sydney and the Kyushu Institute of Technology. Currently, we have a 3-year temporal datasets of overlapping imagery collected using the AUV Tuna-Sand and Tuna-Sand 2, that is made available on Squidle+ for image annotation. Our observation in 2018 took place days after a direct hit from Typhoon Trami (Paeng), a Category 5 super typhoon with wind speeds of 195km/h. We hope our efforts will document the damage and the recovery as we continue to focus our efforts on this site.

For press see impact.