Open Ocean


Check out archived video, photos, and more from our November 2018 event, All Hands on Deck!

We hold regular events on MIT's campus (or Zoom) like our Spring Seminar Series and all are welcome to attend. To get updates on these events please join our mailing list by emailing openocean-admin @


We issue monthly newsletters curating a round up of opportunities and news relevant to our mission areas. To join our mailing list please email openocean-admin @


Current Undergraduate Students  Currently our Spring 2020 UROP opportunities are filled. 

Current Graduate Students We strive to offer interested students training, field, and collaboration opportunities that serve their graduate degree research where there is overlap. If you are a current MIT graduate student and want to get involved with Open Ocean projects, please email openocean-opportunities @  We'd love to have you join the team! 

Prospective Graduate Students The Open Ocean Initiative does not directly admit graduate students. However, students are welcome to join the Initiatives after admission to the MIT Media Lab with advisor approval. Please refer to the Media Arts and Sciences section for admission instructions. 

Job Opportunities - Spring 2020

Contract Engineer for LEGO Wayfinder Project  |  Full-Time  |  approximately 6 months

If you are interested in this position, please email your CV and cover letter to openocean-opportunities @

The Open Ocean Initiative is seeking a Marine Robotics Engineer. The engineer will be responsible for developing the next prototype of the LEGO Wayfinder–a buildable LEGO-inspired marine exploration vehicle kit for STEM education and outreach that focuses on field experience of middle and high school students. Future iterations of the Wayfinder are to include advances on the past model by including the following: watertight electronics; top-side power hub; and small, innovative sensors and communications modules that eliminate or simplify pressure housing needs. The deliverable should be a kit that is robust and easy to use, standardizing the power and processing packaging of the vehicle, while allowing for multiple sensor package configurations and multiple modalities of maneuvering underwater (water column transects, lateral and vertical movement, lander, benthic crawler). The latter will facilitate creative and collaborative design activities of students at their chosen field site.

The Open Ocean Initiative at the MIT Media Lab takes a highly collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach to tackle existing and future challenges in ocean exploration and storytelling through technological innovation, scientific discovery, and community connections. Our group and collaborators develop technologies, research methods, and social systems to transform what it means to explore and discover the ocean in the 21st century, enabling us to more fully understand our planet and more knowledgeably make decisions about its protection and use.


Ideal candidate will possess a MS in ocean engineering, mechanical engineering, or a related field with technical skills applicable to the project. It is possible candidates with a relevant BS degree and demonstration of comparable work experience (5+) will also be considered.


  • Self-starter and maker mindset with a passion for robotics and sensors.
  • Record of completing projects.
  • Strong technical and troubleshooting skills in software, electronics, mechanical, and ocean engineering. 
  • Strong understanding of sensors, power, mechanical and electrical packaging for underwater robotics, tethered and/or autonomous underwater vehicles.
  • Understanding of robotics subsystems and their interactions.
  • Experience with low-cost robotics or sensor systems.
  • Proficiency in Python.
  • Proficient with Linux or Raspbian.
  • Proficient with Arduino development.
  • Experience with LEGO Mindstorms.
  • Working knowledge and experience with existing online DIY and maker community groups.
  • Demonstration of creative out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills.
  • Familiar with lean startup methodology: sprints, rapid prototyping, minimal-viable product, fast-user feedback, retrospectives.
  • Experience running pilot studies with non-technical audiences (students) and generating feedback for further improvements.