Conservation X Labs - ROVs for Good
We want you to have an ROV!

Conservation X Labs is awarding 20 Sofar Ocean Trident ROVs to researchers (both formal and informal), educators, citizen scientists, and ocean conservationist to help further their project to study, understand, or protect the marine environment. Award recipients will receive a Trident ROV (, hard case, 100m tether, and controller. Award recipients will be expected to provide updates on the progress of their project.

Sofar Ocean Trident represents the next-generation of underwater drone. It is an out-of-the-box solution for ocean stakeholders that can perform many of the same functions of major research ROVs for a fraction of the cost and with no specialized training. Small enough to be stored in carry-on baggage, the ROV is extremely portable and has been deployed from vessels ranging in size from small kayaks to ocean-class research vessels to Polynesian voyaging canoes. Trident is fast, with simple controls. It is rated to 100m. The vehicle provides live video footage to the pilot through a kevlar-reinforced tether which can also serve as a recovery line. It has a series of ventral M3 mounting points that allow users to affix a variety of sensors, collectors, and payloads to expand its utility. It is one of the few consumer accessible vehicles capable of performing scientific research, documentary observation, conservation monitoring, and exploration from the surface of the ocean down into the mesophotic zone.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below.

Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis in the order than they were received until all ROVs have been distributed. Please note that we are awarding ROVs for non-commercial conservation projects.

Please note that, while shipping is included, applicants will be responsible for any import taxes, though we will work with you to minimize these. Please direct any queries to Andrew Thaler:
Email address *
Full Name *
Your answer
(if applicable)
Your answer
Project Title *
Your answer
What motivates you? *
Please share a little bit about who you are, what motivates you to work in ocean conservation, and how an ROV can help you fulfill you goals.
Your answer
Project Location *
Where will this project be based?
Your answer
Project Description *
Please provide a short description of you project, including geographic and ecologic setting, the problem you intend to address or illuminate, your approach to addressing or illuminating that problem, objectives, and potential outcomes.
Your answer
Local Collaborators
If this work is being conducted outside of your home country or country of residence, or in a region where you would not generally be considered a "local", are you engaging meaningfully with local collaborators? Please provide a short description of that partnership.
Your answer
Potential Impact
What impact will this project have and how will you demonstrate or measure that impact? How will the use of this Trident contribute to the success of your project?
Your answer
How will you share the images, videos, and stories generated by this project
Your answer
Other Work
Please provide links or description to other projects of yours that highlight your work.
Your answer
Guidelines for mitigating potential harm from ROV use in marine environments
Though small ROVs can serve as a valuable tool for ocean conservation, they also have the potential to cause harm to marine animals and ecosystems. We ask that you read the following two short papers and approach your project with an eye towards ensuring that your work will not contribute additional stress to the ecosystems that you are working in.

Robots as Vectors for Marine Invasions: Best Practices for Minimizing Transmission of Invasive Species Via Observation-Class ROVs (

Bot Meets Whale: Best Practices for Mitigating Negative Interactions Between Marine Mammals and MicroROVs (
Stewardship Statement *
Shipping Address *
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