SAMS news room

NEW Scottish Marine Robotics Facility

The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), Scotland’s largest independent marine research organisation with a long history in marine technology development, today announced the opening of a new Scottish Marine Robotics Facility in Oban.

Living on ‘the blue planet’ we know little about the oceans because they are vast and challenging to access. Robots are the latest tools to gather information about the oceans. The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility provides marine scientists with the latest robotic technologies to observe the oceans from the sea surface to the deep seabed, from Scottish coastal waters to hard to reach ice-covered polar seas for academic, regulatory and commercial missions.

The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility aims to push the boundaries of how we develop, deploy and operate robotic and autonomous technologies to gather robust observations about even the most extreme ocean environments.

Dr Finlo Cottier, Head of the Marine Physics and Technology Department at SAMS, explains:

“Advances in marine technology are essential to allow us to study the marine environment on which life on our planet depends. Robots will help us greatly in this venture and we are proud to have such a fantastic new facility.”

The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility is equipped with a variety of robotic and autonomous instruments, including seven seagliders, two autonomous underwater vehicles, a remotely operated vehicle, several remotely piloted aircraft, static long-term moorings, seabed landers, drifting sensors, mapping technologies and various polar technologies.

The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility already supports ambitious research programs in the UK and internationally, including FASTNEt (Fluxes Across Sloping Topography of the North East Atlantic) and OSNAP (Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Programme), both of which use in particular seagliders to study the complexity of how oceans move and mix.

Dr Cottier said:

“Scientific research thrives on working with others. The Scottish Marine Robotics Facility is a partner with the Marine Autonomous and Robotic Systems (MARS) group at the National Oceanography Centre and is a key asset within the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) community.  It fosters collaborations in the university, government and commercial sectors providing facilities, advice and operational capability.”

To find out more please visit You can watch a short video about the centre’s latest seaglider work at

Contact details

Fraser Macdonald - NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellow
T: 01631 559000
Twitter: @ScotMRF, @ScotMarineInst

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