Advances in Applications of Soft Robotics, Additive Manufacturing, and Distributed Sensing to Deep-Sea Research

Brennan T. Phillips
Assistant Professor

Dept. of Ocean Engineering
University of Rhode Island

Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, 3:10pm
Chase 105

The technology used to access the deep ocean can be generally characterized as large, clunky, and expensive, requiring extensive resources and large research vessels to operate. There is also a need to observe and sample the deep sea with quieter, smaller, less-intrusive methods and in higher spatiotemporal resolution. This presentation will review recent progress made at the University of Rhode Island in applying soft robotics, additive manufacturing techniques, and distributed sensing to advance how we observe and interact with the deep-sea environment.  


Brennan Phillips specializes in the development and application of novel instrumentation for oceanographic research. His current research topics include low-light imaging of deep-sea biology and bioluminescence, soft robotic manipulators, hydraulic systems, distributed sensing, and low-cost, lightweight methods for ocean exploration. Dr. Phillips is a National Geographic Explorer and has participated in and/or lead dozens of oceanographic research expeditions around the world. Dr. Phillips received his B.S. in Ocean Engineering from URI, an M.S. in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from URI/GSO. Prior to joining the faculty at URI, Dr. Phillips served as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory and was the lead ROV engineer/pilot for Dr. Robert Ballard.