Science & Research


  • Main problem:
    Species Extinction
  • Subproblem:
    Humans influence on marine habitats
  • Consequence:
    Development of solutions
  • Solution:
    Drone technologies for collecting more affodable and better data

SnotBot® is a modified consumer drone which flies through the blow of a whale and collects exhaled “snot” on petri dishes. This blow contains a treasure trove of valuable biological information: DNA, stress and pregnancy hormones, microbiomes and potentially many other biological compounds/indicators of the animal’s health and ecology. Best of all, the whale doesn’t even know we are there: This is a non-invasive tool that is safer for the animals and cheaper and more effective for the user.

Why We Need SnotBot

Whales and dolphins today face more threats than ever before, and these threats are diversifying and intensifying. Many are critically endangered

If we want to protect these animals, we need bold, non-invasive, innovative solutions that enable us to collect more affordable and better data for understanding these threats and how they are affecting the animals. At Ocean Alliance, we believe that the solution is drones!

The purpose of Ocean Alliance’s SnotBot program has been to explore and push the boundaries of this new research paradigm, determining what data can be collected with a drone and how best to collect it. Using SnotBot has many benefits when collecting biological samples from whales: it is non-invasive, we get a huge range of data, and it is relatively affordable.

Photo Credits by: ©snotbot

Helden der Meere e.V.

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