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Taking on Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE

Message

The Ocean Discovery XPRIZE was announced in December 2015 as a global competition to push the boundaries of technology for ocean exploration. The Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE is sponsored by the Royal Dutch Shell plc and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The competition challenges teams to make wide-area bathymetric maps of the seafloor and obtain high-resolution images of archaeological, biological or geological features using underwater robots without support from a crewed vessel.

Team KUROSHIO was formed to take on the challenges and has started its preparations for the competition. We will take advantage of this exciting opportunity to actively participate in, compete with, and interact with global next-generation exploration communities, jointly with other organizations and businesses. We hope our effort will help us create an ocean-related community in Japan, and contribute to entering into new markets and revitalizing existing markets.

From Team KUROSHIO members

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Missions

Today's underwater exploration is supported by vessels operated by a number of highly-skilled crew members, and underwater robots controlled from the vessel. These underwater exploration technologies have been utilized widely in the private sector. Especially in the offshore oil industry, bathymetric mapping of a broad area is necessary to develop an offshore oilfield, meaning the urgent need for faster and lower-cost mapping technologies.

■Goal

Teams must map a broad area (500 km2) at a resolution of 5 meters (horizontal) and 50 centimeters (vertical).

■Rules

Teams must complete the operations without any support from a human-operated vessel, even when a robot is launched and recovered.
All the components must fit a 40-ft shipping container.
For details on the time limit, please see below.
Teams must produce a bathymetric map of the area within 48 hours.

■Prize

7 million US dollars

Round 1 testing

August – September, 2017
Teams must map an area of at least 100 km2 at a 2,000-meter depth, and produce five images of targets within 16 hours.

Round 2 testing

September, 2018
Teams must map an area of at least 250 km2 at a 4,000-meter depth, and produce ten images of targets within 24 hours.

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Schedule

The "Ocean Discovery XPRIZE" is a three-year competition.
Teams will strive to clear three main hurdles – judging of technical documentation, Round 1 testing, and Round 2 testing.
Our team members are now in preparation for the submission of their technical documentation. They are also carrying out research on experimental elements in order to enhance the reliability of their technologies.

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Members

The team mainly consists of the following young members who have been engaged in research and development of underwater exploration robots.

> Board of Directors

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Takeshi Nakatani
JAMSTEC
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Blair Thornton
IIS
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Yuya Nishida
Kyutech.
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Takeshi Ohki
JAMSTEC

Team Leader


> Development & operation

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Yuya Nishida
Kyutech.
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Takeshi Ohki
JAMSTEC
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Blair Thornton
IIS
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Kazunori Nagano
IIS
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Kotohiro Masuda
IIS
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Shogo Inaba
NMRI
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Saori Yokota
NMRI
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Hiroyuki Fukushima
MES
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Kenji Nagahashi
MES
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Hitoshi Kakami
MES
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Masaya Katagiri
NME
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Akihisa Ishikawa
NME
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Morifumi Takaesu
NME
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Mamoru Sano
NME
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Tohru Kodera
NME
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Jun Takao
NME
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Junichi Kojima
KDDI research
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Akihiko Nishitani
KDDI research

> Project Management

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Takeshi Nakatani
JAMSTEC
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Takeshi Ohki
JAMSTEC

> General Affairs

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Hidetoshi Fujimori
JAMSTEC
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Yoshie Miyoshi
JAMSTEC
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Yuriko Shimakage
JAMSTEC

> Communication

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Masahiko Kamei
JAMSTEC
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Masato Sugiyama
JAMSTEC
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Takashi Okubo
JAMSTEC

  • JAMSTEC: Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology
  • IIS: The University of Tokyo
  • Kyutech.:Kyushu Institute of Technology
  • NMRI: National Maritime Research Institute
  • MES: Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd.
  • NME: Nippon Marine Enterprises, Ltd.
  • KDDI research: KDDI Research, Inc.

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For support and inquiries:

Team KUROSHIO is looking for businesses, organizations, and individuals who will support the team's challenge. Please refer to the following contact information for support and general inquiries.

Contact:

Team KUROSHIO Communication Group
xprizepr (at) jamstec.go.jp

Related links

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