Monday, May 16, 2016

Mapping update

Platypus has been working very hard to streamline the process of creating high quality bathymetric maps.  In cooperation with Biobase, we've now made the process simple for one person to carry out with minimal training.  Without too much effort, operators can be mapping in under 3 minutes from arriving at the water.  And it is all autonomous, so users can relax while the robots do the work.

Watch the system in action here

For more information or to get your robot with no upfront cost email

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Engineering team working hard

Lots of upgrades going on to the Platypus robots.  Here the team is working to integrate wireless networking directly into the robots.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Robot Library Training

Platypus Robot Library Training Session

Learn how to use Platypus robots and be certified to come and get one from our office ($100/day) to collect important environmental data.

Register now! 

Platypus builds small, autonomous robotic boats capable of collecting data about water, including both bathymetric data and water quality data. The robots are a low-cost reliable, repeatable, and safe way of collecting large amounts of data (e.g. water temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and oxygen reduction potential). The robots have an added mapping capability using sonar equipment. The core technologies were developed at Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute. 

Platypus robotic boats are under 4’ long and weight less than 20 lbs. They are easily transportable and can be managed by a single operator. This design makes for easy use by teachers, students, and environmental organizations. The robot takes less than 10 minutes to get into the water and can be controlled remotely. Collected data can be streamed live back to the operator or stored onboard for later processing. The robots have a top speed of around 15 mph. For more information about the boats and technical specifications, visit: 

Training SESSION Details 

Location: 2010 Smallman St. Pittsburgh PA, 15222

Next date: 
Saturday, April 9th, 9am - 11am
Attending one session completes training. 

Duration: 2 hours

Session Highlights: Learn how to operate robotic boats to collect data for environmental monitoring applications and mapping. Each training session covers robot usage, collecting high quality sensor data, trouble shooting, and safety. No technical background necessary. 

Training Cost: Free of Charge 

Advanced Registration Required:


Special thank you to Robot Library Partners and Advisors: CMU's Leonard Gelfand Center and Robotics Institute

Monday, February 29, 2016

Robot Library Launch

On Friday, Platypus launched its robot library, a way of making robots available to students, environmental groups and hobbyists wanting to collect environmental data.  The first set of beta-testers learned how to use the robots and the processes for collecting good data.

The library will allow schools, universities and environmental groups to check out a robot, for a small fee, and spend a day collecting data before using the Platypus data portal to disseminate the data to the general public.

CMU is collaborating with the effort and will provide educational materials and eventually other robots.

Platypus plans on opening the Pittsburgh robot library up to the general public in the next few months and several libraries around the work.  Send email to if you want to be notified of training sessions.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hippos in front, crocs at the rear!

Some of you may remember the three week Kenya expedition undertaken by Platypus in early 2014. We teamed with researchers Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton to collect data in pools full of hippos in the Mara River as part of The Mara Project The Mara Project (a collaboration between Yale & the Carey Institute -

We're not quite sure how we did it, but we managed to return home without a single hippo bite or crocodile death roll! Chris and Amanda decided to test their luck again, adding extra sensors to the robotic platform before again navigating the dangerous waters. Check out the early photos from their trip below, we can't wait to see how the collected data looks!

Twenty hippos out in front, a sole croc at the rear..... please tell me the batteries are fully charged!

I would love to tell you that is just dirt in the water and not hippo poo, but I would be lying...

Returning home after another successful trip!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Platypus hosts the STEM Careers Tour

The students from STEM were given an insight into the inner workings of Platypus! Thank you to everyone who was involved in putting the tour together and special mention to tour guide Pras!

Have you ever wondering who will be the next Elon Musk? Look no further than this photo!

Testing the connections (on solid ground!)

The new office basement looks good (though a little messy... Chris!!)

Showcasing our range of boat hulls, we don't fear icebergs at all....

Friday, June 26, 2015

Paul waffling on about Platypus, is that all he ever does?

Webinar describing Platypus technology done for CMU's Scott Institute: