Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2023.


Mechanical Engineering; Computer Science and Engineering

First Advisor

Christopher Kitts

Second Advisor

Michael Neumann


Global warming and climate change are prevalent issues in today’s society. As a result, research in the ocean, our world’s biggest ecosystem, is imperative in efforts to protect the environment. Santa Clara University’s Robotic Systems Lab contributes to this field through work and developments on remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). An existing ROV system called Nautilus consists of a robot arm, end effector, and storage system in order to collect various types of sediments at a depth of 300 feet. However, the previous system does not meet that requirement. In direct collaboration with researchers within the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, we were able to create and accomplish a set of deliverables to improve our ROV. Our team’s main goal was to make the system functional and more efficient by redesigning the manipulator arm and soft gripper in order to retrieve samples, as well as creating a sample storage container that is in view of the camera or workspace to document and record the location of those samples. Our project gives researchers a cheaper alternative compared to existing sample collection methods, which are relatively more expensive, so that they can continue to explore and document stretches of the ocean far more easily.

The project was done with the guidance of faculty in the Robotic Systems Lab as well as researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI).