Environmental monitoring is critical for assessing and protecting our natural resources. Robotics can greatly benefit this field be enabling rapid assessment of large areas with minimal human supervision. Here, we describe an aquatic mobile robot for data collection in a polluted waterway. The robot is part of an environmental monitoring project known as “Brooklyn Atlantis,” and collects water quality data and images within the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, NY. Water quality is analyzed offline, while images are classified using citizen science through a web-based interface. To provide an added degree of interactivity to the participants of the project, an automated pan-tilt camera rig is developed, capable of providing 360° panorama photos that can be manipulated by a user. Beyond data collection, the robot serves as a useful tool for outreach and directly engaging the local community in science-based activities.

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