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Marine Robotics in Shellfish Aquaculture (spring/summer UROP opportunity)




SEAG: Sea Grant Program

Faculty Supervisor:

Michael Benjamin

Faculty email:


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Project Description

Aquaculture in Massachusetts is a thriving sector with a bright future. Many aspects of this business, however, are still very labor intensive, or could otherwise benefit from automation. The purpose of this project is to identify a few critical functions that lend themselves to marine autonomy solutions, then implement and demonstrate some of these using surrogates in the Charles River. The spring UROP activity will consist of familiarization with the methods of shellfish aquaculture on the Eastern Seaboard by direct visitation, discussions with industry personnel, and literature review. The UROP will then identify problems that could be resolved by marine robotics. The summer UROP activity will consist of proof-of-concept solutions to these problems using R/V REx, our 17 ft autonomous vessel and resources of the AUV Lab. Work locations will be at both MIT Sea Grant in Cambridge and the MIT Sailing Pavilion. 10 hours/week, for pay in spring 2020 semester, 30-40 hours/week, for pay or credit, summer 2020 semester


The student must have a strong technical background and interest in robotics and soft skills appropriate for field assessments of the aquaculture industry. Vision processing experience and/or course 2.680 is a plus.