Panel Discussion – The Role of Marine Robotics in Supporting a Sustainable Blue Economy

Special Session (T2):  Panel Discussion – The Role of Marine Robotics in Supporting a Sustainable Blue Economy

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 1530-1650

Location: Town & Country Ballroom A


Session Convener:  Jake Sobin, Sales Manager, Ocean Science Sensors and Robotics, Kongsberg Underwater Technology

Moderator: Dr. Gwen Nero, UC San Diego/Scripps Institution of Oceanography


  1. Andy Ziegwied (Saildrone)
  2. Dr. Katherine Zaba, MRV Systems
  3. Steve Brodet, Kongsberg
  4. Clara Hulburt, Teledyne
  5. Josh Wells, Planck Aerosystems


Session Summary:

The past two decades has witnessed major developments from the underwater technology industry in the field of marine robotics.  Marine robotics have emerged as a key enabling technology for addressing complex and challenging missions at sea, which offer solutions that cannot be achieved through conventional methods.

Advancements in ocean data collection and analysis have been supported by marine robotics, which in turn has been documented as essential in supporting a sustainable ocean economy.

This session will examine the link between the increasing market demand for marine robotics and the estimated ocean economy of $3.6trn a year.  Why is the field of robotics an important component to the blue economy?

This panel discussion will invite industry leaders in the field of marine robotics to address the following questions:

1) What role can industry play in helping foster a sustainable ocean economy?

  1. How is your company contributing to a sustainable ocean economy?
  2. Examples?

2) How has academic, government, and industry partnerships supported the advancement of marine robotics.

  1. How can these partnerships help power the Blue Economy?
  2. Examples?
  3. Any barriers and/or challenges?

3) Where do we need to get to in the next 10, 20 years…?

  1. What are the barriers to getting there?