On November 7, 2014, A symposium on unmanned systems was put together by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI). The event was held at the CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) campus featuring demonstrations from local organizations and expert speakers in three arenas: environment, agriculture and business. The Air and Aquatic Robot Research (AARR) team was invited to set up a tank and a display table to showcase our ROVs.


The team ran a popular display table!


Team members Blake Swendrowski and Jay Woolsey prepare the demonstration.

Our project lead, Paul, was invited to co-present with Dr. Geoffrey Dilly on the environmental panel on low cost, portable ROVs and their use in education, outreach, and research: The environmental panel consisted of the following people: Todd Jacobs, Shah Selbe, Jim Roth, Dr. Geoff Dilly and Paul Spaur.

Todd Jacobs is a project scientist on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Program. He has held various leadership roles within NOAA, including Research and Education Coordinator for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and Deputy Superintendent of the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary.


Shah Selbe is a National Geographic Explorer that is heavily invested in the use of technology to solve conservation issues. Mr. Selbe has developed open source technology related to conservation and is currently working on a project using UAS in conservation.


Jim Roth is a founder of Storm King Mountain Technologies, a company that produces fire fighting related solutions through use of new materials and technology.


Dr. Geoff Dilly is professor of Biology at CSUCI, has a wealth of experience working with deep sea organisms through using underwater manned and unmanned systems, he has been aboard ALVIN and worked at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

Paul Spaur is a research assistant in both Biology and Environmental Science and lead of the Air and Aquatic Robot Research team. He has a number of years of experience building vehicles and unmanned systems. He is putting his experience to use by facilitating low cost solutions for educational outreach and research, using primarily underwater systems.

The symposium was opened by Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, who spoke about the use of Unmanned Aerial Systems in the military and non-military sector and use in economic and educational development. The environmental panel began shortly after. After the panel concluded, the AARR prepped the ROV’s for the demonstration, while the bomb squad demonstrated their disposal robot.


The bomb squad retrieves a suspicious suitcase.
Team member Chris Wells shows off the OpenROV and the “splash zone”.

After the demonstrations concluded, he symposium resumed and had both agriculture and business panels present. At the next recess, the team again demonstrated he ROV’s capabilities.


Paul, Dr. Dilly, Todd Jacobs
and Shah Selbe talk about the future of
the environment and technology.

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