In recognition for their highly innovative and unique approach to seafloor mapping with small underwater drones known as BEMs (Bathypelagic Excursion Modules), the UK-based TeamTao was awarded the Moonshot Award during the prestigious $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition awards ceremony held in Monaco.
The $7M Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is part of XPRIZE’s 10-year Ocean Initiative and a global competition that challenged 35 teams from around the world to advance ocean technologies for rapid, unmanned and high-resolution ocean exploration and discovery. The mission was to map 500 square kilometers of seafloor at four kilometers deep in under 24 hours with no human intervention. To date, less than 20% of the global ocean floor has been mapped.
TeamTao, a team of North East-based subsea engineering experts from Soil Machine Dynamics (SMD) and Newcastle University, demonstrated their autonomous swarm system technology from an ASV and mapped an area the size of Paris in deep waters off the coast of Greece near the port city of Kalamata. To transfer the probe’s video at 300 kB/s across an 11-mile distance, the team used Rajant’s ME4 2450R’s and a prototype 2.4GHz antenna-tracker for their deep-sea mapping, which was installed on a WAM-V surface vehicle and a tethered drone for a point-to-point connection and linked to a Rajant modified aerial drone for the data collection.
For a behind the scenes look at TeamTao’s quest in Kalamata, watch below. 🖉