CURRENT PROJECTS : Glass Bottom Float
Glass Bottom Float ( 2007 - 2012) new website:
combining human intution and sensor data

The Glass Bottom Float (GBF) is a floating public robot with the mission of making the critical assessment of recreational water quality a transparent and participatory experience W.G Sebald might have appreciated.

GBF cruises along a beach shore, and offers itself as a resting spot in places it deems clean enough for swimming. Over time it maps paths of least contamination and highest relative pleasure for fish and people. GBF assesses the current state of the waters with a three-tiered sensing system informed by best practices of recreational water quality assessment science: Established metrics (algae, chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen and others), experimental metrics (near real-time in-situ e-coli, wave motion) and untested metrics (the presence and sounds of fish and crustaceans) are combined and compared with post swimming experience surveys to create a qualitative measure of water quality; the swimming pleasure measure (SPM). All results are public domain. Data is available for mobile phones to give SPM locative agency, allowing for on-demand inquiry of swimming pleasures, discourse on water quality and our limits of understanding it.

Situated Relational Biosensing: GlassBottomFloat2, 2012
Canada: International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology 2010, Toronto, Canada
China: Jiao Tong University 2009, Shanghai, China
USA: ETECH 2009, San Jose, USA

Swimming: GBF phase II launched in July at Beaver Island State Park, NY, in 2009.
Mobile: Get data from the robot on your phone.
Twitter: Follow "g_b_f" for the robot's tweets.
Images: image collection
Sounds: underwater audio samples

related projects

Advanced Perception

A Nature Interpretation Center with Second Thoughts

Glass Bottom Boat

EPA on recreational water quality
report 2007

community partners Woodlawn Beach
Beaver Island

project brief
status report

ShanghAI talks 2009 online video

ACM publication 2010 IEEE/ACM paper