Pathfinders of the Abyss: Exploring the frontiers of marine science and autonomous systems through underwater robotics

  • AAAS Headquarters 1200 New York Avenue Northwest Washington, DC, 20005 United States

A public lecture sponsored by the new journal Science Robotics, and and presented as part of the "2016-2017 Halcyon Dialogues on Robotics," a partnership between AAAS and Halcyon.

Human beings evolved within a very specialized and narrow set of environmental conditions, meaning that parameters like temperature, atmospheric pressure, and the mix of gases dissolved in our bloodstream must remain within a very specific range of values for us to survive. This means that scientists operating in very different environments, such as the deep sea, require heavy and expensive life support systems designed specifically for humans. Robots, however, are already able to operate cost effectively and with high precision in extremely harsh conditions.

In recent years, rapid advances in machine intelligence have enabled significant advances in autonomy and multi-robot systems that promise to revolutionize both the way that robots interact with ourselves and each other, as well as enhance our ability to conduct research in one of the last unexplored frontiers on Earth. Join us to hear three leading researchers discuss their work on emerging scientific and technological developments associated with the exciting and dynamic field of marine robotics.


Naomi Leonard, Ph.D. 
Edwin S. Wilsey Professor
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Princeton University 

John Ryan, Ph.D. 
Senior Research Specialist
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Xiaobo Tan, Ph.D
MSU Foundation Professor
Deparatment of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Michigan State University