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December 13th, 2018
DroneBlocks and Ocean Alliance partner to improve the SnotBot project for Whale conservation

GLOUCESTER, Mass. – Few people would have seen a connection between whale snot and drones, but in 2012 Dr. Iain Kerr, CEO of Ocean Alliance, had a vision. Rather than collecting biological samples by manually biopsying whales, Kerr saw the use of drones as a non-invasive way to gather the data needed for whale conservation. The result was the “SnotBot,” a drone that can fly into a whale’s spout and collect the “blow” or “snot” exhaled as the animal surfaces to breathe. The snot contains rich biological information, including DNA, stress and pregnancy hormones, viruses, bacteria and toxins.