Carnegie Mellon uses AI and robots to explore Qatar’s waters

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s (CMU-Q) Gianni Di Caro (pictured), is using artificial intelligence and a fleet of autonomous marine robots to better explore the marine environment around Qatar. Di Caro, who is leading a team of researchers, is an associate teaching professor at CMU-Q, a Qatar Foundation partner university. To better understand marine environments, researchers create information maps of data like depth, water quality, and salinity. This information is critical for a country like Qatar, which balances offshore oil and gas operations with the preservation and sustainability of a fragile marine ecosystem. Typically, information maps are created by sending, every a few months, a single, big, manually operated boat to sample data at pre-defined points, one at-a-time. This method has serious drawbacks, including the fact that sampling is sequential and static.