MARE, an autonomous airboat robot that is suitable for exploration-oriented tasks, such as inspection of coral reefs and shallow seabeds. The combination of this platform’s particular mechanical properties and its powerful software framework enables it to function in a multitude of potential capacities, including autonomous surveillance, mapping, and search operations. In this paper we describe two different exploration strategies and their implementation using the MARE platform. First, we discuss the application of an efficient coverage algorithm, for the purpose of achieving systematic exploration of a known and bounded environment. Second, we present an exploration strategy driven by surprise, which steers the robot on a path that might lead to potentially surprising observations.


Initial Concept

Initial Frame

First Pool Trial

MARE: Frame construction

MARE: Propeller guard

MARE: Hull design

MARE: Boat frame