January, 07, 2022

A Robotic Boat from MIT Sea Grant for Flipping over Oyster Bags

Researchers from MIT Sea Grant developed a robotic boat to help local oyster farmers do the current manual job of flipping the oyster bags using a robotic boat.

The robot identifies the bags through a vision system and then flips them over repeating this on a regular basis.

Image credit: MIT Sea Grant
Image credit: MIT Sea Grant
Image credit: MIT Sea Grant

In oyster farms, there are bags filled with oysters that are afloat on water, and because of biofouling that covers the bags over time, they need to be flipped over to decrease the chances of getting dirt in them.

Biofoul on oyster bags. Image credit: MIT Sea Grant

This process is currently being done through manual labor, and thus it is less efficient and not ergonomically suitable for human workers. Therefore there is a need for a robot to perform the task.
The robotic boat can significantly impact shellfish farming by helping farmers do the previously manual task semi-autonomously and more efficiently.

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