I have had the pleasure to be involved with a small internal grant application that has now been rewarded, enabling the purchasing of an underwater robot! This particular Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (ROV) is the ‘maker‘ community kickstarter project OpenROV. Leading the grant is BioSciences colleague Chris Lowe and we are lucky to have colleagues from Falmouth University‘s MAKERNOW digital fabrication lab involved: Justin Marshall, Andy Smith and Adam Stringer. We will first assemble (when I say ‘we’ I mean the makernow wizards…) and try out an openROV kit and based on this experience we aim to build another, improved version built from parts made from scratch and selected ordered parts. This will offer fantastic opportunities for student projects, outreach to the people of Cornwall and hopefully some marine biology research too. The ROV goes up to 100 meters deep, which is a good bit beyond recreational diving and so will allow a unique look at organisms up close in their natural habitat. As this work is out of the remit of the Medical School I hope to post updates on my rock pooling blog An Bollenessor (not affiliated with my work) later in the year.

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