Skip to Main Content
This article presents a discussion on Sensorbots. Sensorbots are sphere-shaped robotic devices equipped with a set of biogeochemical sensors designed to monitor deep ocean regions for extended periods of time and to relay key information back to researchers. The Sensorbots will enable continuous spatiotemporal monitoring of key elements in the ocean and the ability to respond to events such as underwater earthquakes and hydrothermal vents. The Sensorbots are designed for deployment in swarms, acquiring readings from the environment, and then relaying the data in the form of flashes of blue light to a high-speed camera that detects the signals and saves them for future decoding aboard a research vessel or transmits them to an underwater cable. Each sphere currently contains the electronics and batteries needed to support three external sensors that measure pH, temperature, or oxygen; future Sensorbots will be equipped with many more sensors.