Very exciting news:
SnotBot has been invited to the UN General Assembly on Thursday for World Oceans Day in the human form of this guy, where he will be joining Sir Richard Branson, Leonardo DiCaprio, James Cameron, the International Space Station, and he’ll be introduced by Sylvia Earle. Amy Kerr and daughter Dylan will be there to see it happen!!! You can check the UN website for a live feed, he’ll be on around 11 am.
Well deserved. See wonderful story by Ray Lamont in today’s Gloucester Daily Times: GHS Engineering program wins national award, Photo by Mike Springer shows Kurt with students Austin Monnell and Conor Williamson.
NATIONAL AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND ENGINEERING EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION
TEACHER EXCELLENCE AWARD
It’s close to Kurt’s 20th anniversary at Gloucester High School. Here’s a throwback photo I took in February 2012 at East Gloucester Elementary. Kurt brought the high school students in to the elementary school to lead science and robotic stations for all the kids. He told me then about his approach:
“For too long; students who could memorize facts were considered highly intelligent. In my classes students must learn to apply the knowledge and prove that they learned the topics. This is a different kind of intelligence (kinesthetic – hands on intelligence) that for so long has gone unappreciated and unrecognized. Mixing the two types of intelligences (multi level) in a class just makes common sense and great products (student work).”-Kurt Lichtenwald
From ocean trash to fashion smash.
Ocean Alliance CEO Ian Kerr writes: “I am working on a project with Adidas who are making shoes out of recycled plastic. I am off to the Maldives Islands where we are intercepting plastic before it reaches the oceans (principally plastic bottles) with a team from Adidas. Ill be sending back posts to the Ocean Alliance website so please check it out.”
For more than four decades, Ocean Alliance has been a global leader dedicated to whale research and ocean health. In 2008 the organization moved its headquarters to one of Gloucester’s landmarks, the Paint Factory (built ca.1880s). Ocean Alliance http://www.whale.org/
By 2017, Adidas will produce 1 million UltraBOOST sneakers with material made from trash grabbed from the ocean. “Meanwhile, soccer jerseys that use the plastic will be worn by the Real Madrid squad when it plays Real Sporting de Gijón later this month. Eric Liedtke, responsible for global brands at Adidas, claims that the jerseys will be the first to be made completely from materials found in oceans.” Read more Fortune magazine
GMG 2013 post Charting the paths for plastic soup patches of our oceans
FOB Iain Kerr from Ocean Alliance let me know more exciting news.
We have just been told that they are airing the story on the NBC nightly news tomorrow night. Monday 19th.
I have attached a spectacular Alaska whale photo.
Watch NBC News on Monday night (19th) to see a story on Ocean Alliance. Correspondent Tom Costello came to Gloucester last week to shoot a segment on SnotBot. Mr. Costello and his team were a real pleasure to work with, we thank them for their interest in our work.
Congrats to our Ocean Alliance.
On Monday Sept 12th, Tom Costello from NBC Nightly News visited Ocean Alliance to shoot a story on SnotBot.
Mr. Costello was accompanied by his producer Jay Blackman, a videographer, and soundman. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the NBC team were on site from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm.
Our CEO and chief SnotBot pilot Iain Kerr was interviewed and filmed flying SnotBot. Understanding the unique perspective of a drone, he offered to shoot some video of Mr. Costello for the news story with SnotBot. NBC are now heading to interview Dr. Scott Baker at Oregon State University, who is analyzing SnotBot samples from our most recent expedition to Alaska.
Took this photo from Ocean Alliance while attending Amy Kerr’s amazing art Show.
Our friends at Ocean Alliance have just returned from the Sea of Cortez. They took their drone SnotBot down there and successfully collected Snot from Blue, Grey and Humpback whales. Here is an except form Iain Kerr’s most recent blog along with some photos of the largest animal that has even live on this planet… a blue whale.
After 10 minutes of high speed running the boat slowed down and we immediately launched a SnotBot. Within seconds we saw a blow, still a long way off. Luckily the DJI Inspire 1’s top speed is close to 50 mph so I raced towards the whale and was soon close enough to see it though my FPV camera system…. and OMG – it was a blue whale! I cannot describe my feelings as I approached this remarkable animal gliding through the water. After almost 30 years in this business and a British understated reputation to maintain, I have to admit that my hands started shaking and yes I made a mess of my first approach and did not get a blow sample. I did not care though, the experience of flying SnotBot over the largest animal that has ever lived on the planet was an experience of a lifetime. To put this animal’s size into context: an adult blue whale’s tongue can weigh 6.5 tons; the heart is so big that a human adult could climb into one chamber. Our blue whale was stunning in the crystal clear water, seeming to swim effortlessly. After it dove I just left the drone hovering above its footprint and looked around at the rest of the team who were all ecstatic – last day on the water, beautiful weather and we were with a blue whale. I have only ever seen a blue whale once and when you look at the attached photo you realize that a drone’s eye view is incomparable; it’s the ultimate viewing experience. Look at its features, how the eyes protrude so that the animal can see forward; look at all of the different musculature and markings on the animal; just look at its amazing color. So often with SnotBot we focus on the physical data we are collecting from the blow: DNA, micro biomes pregnancy and stress hormones, but here we can see that even the photos and video that we take have enormous scientific, educational and emotional value.
Iain Kerr and John Graham representing in the Sea of Cortez (Iain reports that Gloucester resident John is their resident McGyver, who can fix anything that goes wrong on a voyage)
You’ve heard about SNOTBOT, right? OK, maybe you’re just visiting, so you haven’t heard about this yet. Let me explain: few other Kickstarter pledges could be better for the future of Gloucester (and anyone who lives or visits here) than this one — really, no kidding. You’ll be helping Ocean Alliance develop revolutionary drone technology for whale research — and there’s no telling what they might discover. But what ever it is, you’ll be a part of it along with iconic actor Patrick Stewart (Jean Luc Picard on “Star Trek”, with a new show called “Blunt Talk” premiering TONIGHT on Starz)!
This is good for Ocean Alliance (which translates good for Gloucester because we want them to thrive here), good for whales, good for our planet, and good for all of us who will benefit from whatever they discover using this new gizmo! So pledge now right here.
Iain Kerr Interview with Discovery
Sunday morning Discovery Channel News was at Ocean Alliance filming a story about SnotBot, the organization’s new drone. The drone was created by a group of Olin College of Engineering students, under the direction of Professor Drew Bennet, in the College’s robotics lab.
“SnotBot will be used to collect DNA, bacteria, viruses and stress hormones from whale blows. The team also tested SnotShot, a machine that makes a simulated whale blow (with the capacity to simulate different blow types) on demand—a testing tool that will actually help the scientists in the field collect a control sample.
The SnotBot drone works something like this: “as SnotBot flies out to a whale that is approximately 300m from the research vessel, it hovers over a whale and the whale repeatedly blows onto a collection device. After the sample is collected and brought back to the RV Odyssey, the data is used to help interpret an animal’s state of heath through the analysis of bacteria, viruses, DNA, and stress hormones recovered from the whale’s blow.”
Read More from the Olin College of Engineering Website Here
Snot Bot Ocean Alliance Archives Here
Gorgeous View from the Paint Factory of the Captain Dominic Fishing Boat
See More Photos Here
Here’s Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr representing at the United Nations where he is speaking today about ocean pollution for World Energy Day.
“Blackfish” Screening Benefit for Ocean Alliance
On Sunday September 29th at 6:30 Cape Ann Community Cinema will be hosting a one-night-only screening of the film “Blackfish” to benefit Ocean Alliance. We’ve been hearing the buzz about this film for months and are very excited to have it in Gloucester. More a psychological thriller than a documentary, it tells the story of the killer whale Tilikum whose actions in captivity resulted in the deaths of several people and it raises the question of whether these ocean-roaming hunters should be held in tanks for our entertainment. Ocean Alliance CEO Iain Kerr will be speaking briefly before the film and answering questions afterwards. Tickets can be purchased here – http://capeanncinema.wordpress.com/advance-tickets
See you there!
A lot of people don’t realize there is an open courtyard space that runs between the brick and wooden buildings at the Paint Manufactory. (see post card image)
As part of the restoration process, one of the courtyard spaces is currently being cleaned up by Kerr and his crew.
A pretty spectacular space.