Robots to Monitor Oil Spills Where Humans Can't Reach

The University of Minnesota's Center for Distributed Robotics is developing an amphibious robotic system, the Aquapod, to monitor the impact of oil on swamps and marshland.

Robust, highly mobile amphibious robots have the potential to assist researchers in quickly gathering critical data in situations where it is difficult or inconvenient for humans to perform these tasks.

Scientific assessment of the ecological effects that result from oil spills is currently difficult to obtain. The long-term effects of an oil spill can remain hidden in widespread, hard to reach locations after visual evidence has vanished from sight. The compact, nimble Aquapod is equipped with a suite of sensors to sample specimens and collect data that make it well suited to deploy into remote areas.  

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