Our hardware design objective is to produce large quantities of low-cost sensors which work together to track water flow and water quality in real time. We have been able to take advantage of low-cost commercial off the shelf (COTS) sensors and the wide availability of cell phone data networks to produce a very capable aquatic sensor at extremely low cost. Our current generation of floating sensors is the result of four years of experimentation and research (See Evolution Page).


  • Use GPS to track surface water flow
  • Can use differential drive motors to move to a desired GPS point at approximately 0.5 m/s
  • Can send flow and quality data in real time using GSM network (like an iPhone using 3G)
  • Can use buoyancy control system to "dive" to 5m depth.
  • Can communicate with each other over Zigbee short range wireless radio.
  • Can measure salinity in real time
  • 72 hour operational lifetime

Current Generation