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GEBCO-NF Alumni robots win ocean-mapping XPRIZE

03 June 2019   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Thomas Wakelin
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A robotic boat and submersible have won the XPRIZE to find the best new technologies to map the seafloor.

The surface and underwater combo demonstrated their capabilities in a timed test in the Mediterranean, surveying depths down to 4km.

Put together by the international GEBCO-NF Alumni team, the autonomous duo are likely now to play a role in meeting the "Seabed 2030" challenge.

This aims to have Earth's ocean floor fully mapped to a high standard.

Currently, only 20% of the world's sub-surface topography has been resolved to an acceptable level of accuracy.

"The global scientific community has come together to try to meet this challenge, but if we're going to achieve it then we will need new technologies," said Dr Jyotika Virmani, the executive director of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE.

"Through this competition, I think some of those technologies are now ready. Some are more robust than others but with a little more R&D I believe we will have a slew of different approaches, which is the way we've got to do this," she told BBC News

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