A driverless drone that maps the sea

reefRover is a submersible drone that autonomously scans marine environments, especially coral reefs. The project is designed to empower researchers and non-expert explorers to collaboratively gather high-quality image data about coral reefs and other underwater environments. The rover is capable of both manual and autonomous operation. During an autonomous scanning mission, the drone is easily deployed from a dive boat; once in the water, it begins to navigate a grid pattern within a geo-fenced perimeter at a fixed distance above the seabed, capturing high-resolution images of consistent scales. The images are merged to create comprehensive local maps of coral reefs. A single reefRover can cover up to 1,400-square-meters per outing, compared to only 100-square-meters using manual methods.


  • New York University Abu Dhabi (NYU)

    The reefRover is a student-led initiative that was awarded second place in the 2016 UAE Drones for Good competition. The project is developed in conjunction with a marine biologist from NYUAD, whose research examines coral communities in extreme environments and their response to mass bleaching events. The reefRover team works to enable citizen scientists to collect research-grade data on coral reefs and increase the availability of coral reef data worldwide. Since the competition, the project has been passed down from the founders to current students in NYUAD, who are committed to pushing the boundaries of coral monitoring techniques. The list of all the reefRover team members are the following: Dani Carelli, Hazem Ibrahim, Jovan Jovancevic, Shien Yang Lee, Ali Abouelatta, Kyler Meehan, Antony Tahan, Rumail Memon, Shantanu Jain, Lujain Ibrahim, Praggya Ayshwarya, Guillermo Schlamp.more



reefRover Links:

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