Seatrec’s Deep Dive Summer 2023:

Introducing Seatrec’s infiniTE™ Float

5 min readSep 4, 2023


With increasing whale strikes, rising sea surface temperatures, and controversies around seabed mining, the importance of ocean data and insights into our dynamic ocean environments have become more critical than ever. Scientists have long dreamed of using profiling floats — autonomous underwater vehicles that collect oceanographic data — to conduct research for applications as diverse as soundscape monitoring, hurricane prediction, and seafloor mapping. Seatrec is now making this a reality with the launch of our infiniTE™ Float — a first-of-its-kind platform with plug-and-play sensors and a clean, renewable power system that removes the power bottleneck for these oceanic robots. We are inspired and humbled to be a leading part of a new era in ocean monitoring.

This Deep Dive’s highlights:

  1. Introducing the infiniTE™ Float
  2. New partnerships at Oceanology 2023
  3. The National Security Innovation Network (NSIN)
  4. News from Hakai & Maritime Magazine
  5. Milestone of 506 profiles with our float in the Gulf of Mexico

🔋Got Power?

We’re thrilled to take oceanic data collection to the next level with our infiniTE™ Float. By integrating our proprietary energy harvesting system into an autonomous profiling float, we have created the most efficient solution on the market. Our platform allows for rapid data gathering, with up to three profiles a day, without compromising mission duration. Additionally, our platform has the capability to integrate power-hungry sensors, enabling data capture that is unattainable by traditional floats. As a result, researchers can radically broaden their abilities by utilizing the most robust, cost-effective, and sustainable solution available. Check out our video below.

Introducing Seatrec’s infiniTE™ Float

🌊 Oceanology 2023

We are excited to report that Oceanology 2023 was a tremendous success this year! This conference serves as a vital connection point for the ocean technology community across the Americas, and it was an ideal setting to unveil our new ocean profiling robot.

We also had the pleasure of meeting our Project NEMO sensor partners - RBR and Airmar - in person, as well as forging new connections with ocean sensor innovators. The atmosphere was buzzing, and the exchange of ideas and knowledge was amazing. Thanks to all who made this year’s Oceanology conference such a fantastic event.

Team Seatrec: Michael Zedelmair, Yi Chao, David Christian, Josh Laney, Robin Willis, and Richard Lopez at Oceanology
Left Top — Yi Chao with Daniel Nelson from RBR; Paul Strawbridge from Airmar and YI; Bottom Left — Yi Chao and Jon Fajans from Xylem; Right Yi Chao and Randall Lind from Biospherical Instruments

⚓NSIN and Gulf Blue Navigator Program

Seatrec was We were honored to have been selected to participate in National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) Propel Hawai’i Accelerator program, where we collaborated with the US Navy and other government agencies to develop and test our latest autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Seatrec successfully graduated from this 3-month program, with a Demo Day on May 25th.

Also in May, Seatrec successfully completed the 6-month Gulf Blue Navigator program and established a new satellite office in Gulfport, Mississippi.

Left — Yi Chao and Bob Musselman at the POST Conference; Right — Yi Chao shares his excitement about the infiniTE™ Float

🌊🤖 Hakai Magazine— The Autonomous Ocean

One of our favorite publications -“Hakai Magazine” — featured Seatrec in its article titled “The Autonomous Ocean,” which highlighted a new generation of revolutionary robots pushing technical boundaries and changing the face of oceanography. Seatrec was featured as a solution for Argo floats which currently “die in the ocean when their onboard batteries are exhausted after about five years, blinking out on the seabed, never to be recovered — much the way deep-space probes are abandoned to the cosmos.”

⚓ Maritime Magazine

Ocean writer Kira Coley interviewed our CEO Yi Chao for her article, “The Mighty Quest to Unveil Our Blue Planet,” in Maritime Magazine. The article highlights the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration between oceanographers, engineers, and computer scientists in developing innovative approaches and technologies for ocean exploration, particularly around seafloor mapping.

Yi emphasized three important factors around the Seabed 2030 initiative:

(1) The urgency to accelerate the process.

(2) The importance of cooperation and innovation to advance the field.

(3) The intrinsic and often technical and environmental challenges of creating hardware for ocean measurement.

💙 The OceanTech Challenge

Ocean robot development typically takes much longer than work on air or land robots. There are innumerable variables to consider — even lab testing is limited because it is hard to simulate the ocean beyond pressure testing. And simply put, the ocean is not a hospitable place for robots. Despite advancements in modern technology, the harsh and unpredictable marine environment can cause damage to hardware, making it often impossible to relay the cause of failures to users and manufacturers. More data processing, more navigational options, and more communications all require more power. With our infiniTE™ float, we are creating data discovery solutions that were never before possible, and our engineering team, undeterred by these persistent challenges, is deeply committed to continually improving an already revolutionary solution.

Seatrec Engineering Team testing robot in our lab, at the Scripps Institute, and preparing to go out to sea

Their unwavering commitment is paying off. We’re celebrating our Gulf of Mexico float deployment from May 2022: 506 profiles in fourteen months and going strong.

Let’s collaborate, gather more data, and make every day Ocean Day.





Infinite energy from the ocean. Makers of thermal energy harvesting systems that generate electricity from the thermocline to power floats and gliders.