New Zealand Underwater Robotics Start-up Sets Sails to Antarctica - 08/01/2019


Boxfish Research, New Zealand’s leading underwater robotics start-up have announced that on 2 January, co-founder and experienced mechanical engineer Ben King, began his journey to Antarctica. Accompanying Dr Regina Eisert and a research team from the University of Canterbury, the team will be participating in the Antarctic Top Predator New Zealand programme. With the goal of studying and capturing footage of specifically the Orca and the Minke whales as they congregate through the ice channel that resupplies McMurdo research station. King will be equipped with both the Boxfish ROV and the Boxfish 360 underwater vision systems, which have been designed to handle the harshest conditions in the world. 

“At Boxfish Research we develop high-end video solutions for underwater, and have been asked to join a scientific expedition to try and understand better the behaviour of these animals… our equipment is designed to be used by people in real situations and there's no better way to test that than in the coldest, driest and windiest place on earth."

Immersive Antarctica VR video content

Through the use of the Boxfish ROV, the research team will have the ability to capture uncompressed UHD video that is live streamed back to the surface on a 17" monitor. This advanced system allows the team to capture broadcast quality footage from depths and angles divers simply can’t reach underneath the ice. As well as the ROV, the Boxfish 360 spherical camera will also be lowered off the edge of the ice, capturing immersive VR video content on behalf of many that will never have the opportunity to visit Antarctica. 

“We hope to capture 360 immersive videos with the 360 camera which will be lowered off the ice with a rope. Then we will be using the... Boxfish ROV to capture whales from underneath and from unique angles going down some several hundred metres” 

As a growing New Zealand start-up, Boxfish are thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in and facilitate this massive research expedition. Through this opportunity, the Kiwi start-up is able to expand their audience and prove their equipment has got what it takes.

Last updated: 19/05/2019