The vastness and hostility of the ocean make it challenging to explore or monitor. Open Ocean Robotics, a Canadian company, has developed an innovative solution to tackle this problem. Their unmanned surface vehicle (USV), an autonomous solar-powered boat, is equipped with sensors, cameras, and communication devices that enable it to collect and transmit real-time ocean data. This review highlights the various features and applications of this revolutionary boat.

Autonomy and Energy

The USV’s autonomous navigation system allows it to travel and operate without a crew. However, it can also be remotely piloted like a sea drone. Its solar-powered system ensures it has a continuous source of energy while monitoring the oceans for several months without refueling. This green energy approach addresses the concern of greenhouse gas emissions from research vessels, which amounts to about 100 cars annually.


The USV’s data collection capabilities make it a game-changer in various ocean monitoring applications. It can replace research vessels, monitor illegal fishing, detect oil spills, and participate in oil spill cleanups. The boat’s surveillance capabilities can also identify suspicious vessels that engage in illegal fishing and other illegal activities in the ocean. Moreover, the boat can collect valuable data on the Arctic Ocean, which is still one of the least explored oceans globally.


The USV provides a range of benefits over traditional research vessels, including reduced greenhouse gas emissions, lower operating costs, and increased efficiency. It can collect high-quality, real-time data in challenging ocean conditions, providing researchers with valuable insights into the ocean’s biodiversity, climate change, and environmental issues. This technological advancement also has the potential to impact the shipping industry positively, as the data collected can help optimize shipping routes and reduce fuel consumption.


Open Ocean Robotics’ autonomous solar-powered boat is an impressive technological advancement in ocean monitoring. Its autonomous navigation, green energy approach, and data collection capabilities make it a valuable tool in ocean research and management. The boat’s potential applications in detecting illegal fishing, oil spills, and participating in cleanups, along with collecting data in the Arctic Ocean, are game-changing. Overall, the USV represents an essential step forward in ocean monitoring and management, paving the way for a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable ocean future.