Dr Anthony Lynham


SAMMI’s testing the water

At Enoggera Reservoir for the launch of SAMMI the solar-powered water testing robot

10 May, 2019 –

Robotics is revolutionising the way water quality is being monitored across South East Queensland.

Seqwater’s Autonomous Motorised Monitoring Instrument, or SAMMI, is the result of Seqwater working with robotic researchers at QUT’s Institute for Future Environments.

Water quality monitoring for drinking water and for recreation is critical to Seqwater’s operations and this solar-powered, self-driving robot has the capacity to change the way Seqwater goes about this.

Until now, the in-lake instruments Seqwater used to analyse and monitor water quality could only be used in fixed locations. This meant the field scientists had to travel to difficult-to-access areas in order to monitor and service the instruments.

With this new technology in combination with Seqwater’s existing fixed network, water quality monitoring will be more efficient and effective.

The 1.7m robot is capable of operating autonomously in waterways, collecting water samples and measuring water quality parameters, as well as creating sonar maps of each reservoir.

Other unique features of the robot include the ability to dock into a custom berth to allow for solar recharging and attachments for helicopter lifting into remote, inaccessible areas.

SAMMI operates by following location and task commands preloaded using a custom tablet-based user interface.

The robot moves from one location to another using a range of GPS and obstacle avoidance sensors and then collects water samples and other water quality information before returning to base.

This allows operation anytime of the day or night, rain or sunshine.

Seqwater expects to incorporate SAMMI into its operations over the second half of 2019.