Mote Marine recently deployed a robot submarine to help monitor the red tide bloom off Southwest Florida.
The yellow robot submarine, nicknamed Waldo, will head toward the edge of the bloom to gather information on the bloom’s shape, size and other characteristics. It carries a Karenia brevis detector that was created by Dr. Gary Kirkpatrick, manager of Mote’s Phytoplankton Ecology Program.
Waldo was put into the water from a boat several miles off Englewood. It is programmed to move southward to an area offshore of Boca Grande Pass and then head toward the last known edge of the bloom.
Dr. Kirkpatrick said that Waldo plays a critical part in the team effort to monitor and study the bloom as it can stay at sea longer and can do its job in any kind of weather.