UPDATED - submersible camera system prototype

The iLab, in collaboration with CIMERS post-doctoral scholar Kyle Neumann, designed and developed the first prototype for a submersible camera system. It mounts to long-line fishing gear. The system will help researchers better understand the impact of long-line fishing gear on sensitive coral and sponge habitats.

Since the initial prototype was created, the system has seen some upgrades. Below is a picture of the three elements of this project. The black cylindrical enclosure is a battery housing designed and built by Sexton Corporation. It contains the control electronics developed in-house by the iLab team. The silver enclosure with the yellow dot is the iLab-manufactured LED light source. The other silver enclosure, also manufactured by the iLab team, is a camera housing containing a Sony camera and custom-developed electronic controls.

CLIENT: Cooperative Institute for Marine Ecosystem and Resources Studies (CIMERS)

PROBLEM: CIMERS is looking for the development of a fishing gear mounted camera and light mechanism. The goal will be to provide high-quality video of fishing gear as it interacts with or moves through sensitive areas such as coral reefs.

SOLUTION: The iLab worked in conjunction with post-doctoral scholar Kyle Neumann to design and develop a programmable camera and light structure which mounts into a crash frame and can then be attached onto long-line fishing gear for in water inspection of gear. The system uses a single wide-angle camera and a high-powered dive light, all of which is connected to a custom built circuitry for depth-based control.

FUTURE: The first prototype of the system is currently undergoing testing in Junea, AK, after which a second updated system will be built.

Above is the first generation of the camera system. The upgraded system (shown left) is currently in Alaska, where it will be integrated and field-tested. Researchers will be building a frame for the enclosure that mounts the system to the fishing gear it will inspect.

Gel Electrophoresis System

CLIENT: Cetacean Conservation and Genomics Laboratory (CCGL)

PROBLEM: The CCGL was unable to locate replacements for their current gel electrophoresis system equipment in need of repair.

SOLUTION: The iLab reverse-engineered the existing system and developed solid models that could be 3D printed. This allowed the lab to produce a replacement for the current system.

Build of LiDar GPS datalogger

CLIENT: Marine Mammal Institute (MMI)

PROBLEM: MMI does extensive work with drone for surveying our coastal marine mammals, accurate altitude readings are critical to this surveying dataset.

SOLUTION: The iLab worked in conjunction with graduate students and post-docs from MMI to help develop an existing system into one which was easily reproducible and robust in the field. The iLab has produced over 25 LidarBoxes and has shipped them to labs all over the world. The design files for the system can be found here with a open source article on the system currently pending review.

DNA Fish Sampler

CLIENT: Michael Banks, Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station (COMES)

PROBLEM: Banks needed to collect DNA samples of fish through fin samples, which had previously been done by a manual operation. Due to the high number of samples Banks required, he wanted to develop an automated system.

SOLUTION: The iLab developed a fish sampling tunnel which has the capacity to take a DNA sample as a fish passes down the length of the tunnel. The tunnel uses sensors down its length to determine if a fish is present and when it should fire a pneumatic actuator to take a DNA sample. The fish then passes out of the tunnel's floor.

FUTURE: The iLab will reengage with this project prior to the next field season and work on developing the next version based on lessons learned from this initial tunnel design.

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT: iLab student interns Spencer Tanenholtz and Rahul Kumar Nalubandhu both contributed design and automation features to the tunnel.