The Future Ocean Lab at MIT

is dedicated to developing and deploying low-cost, low-power tools for underwater exploration, as well as high-end custom imaging systems to document the world’s changing oceans.

Ongoing projects:

  • Acoustic communications and navigation
  • Deep-sea 360 video and photogrammetry
  • A diver-deployable real-time 3D mapping system for underwater caves
  • Low-cost holographic imaging tools
  • Massively-deployable CTD sensors
Click on the timeline below to learn more about the history of the lab!




Allan Adams

Allan leads the Future Ocean Lab at MIT, where his team develops low-cost, low-power tools for underwater exploration, and high-end custom cameras to document the world’s changing oceans. Trained as a theoretical physicist, Allan joined the faculty of the MIT Physics Department in 2008 only to discover that his heart lay in the ocean, so he traded his office for a lab and his seminar room for Mexican cenotes and the deep-sea coral reefs.  Allan is currently PI of the Future Ocean Lab at MIT, a Visiting Investigator at WHOI, a Research Scientist in MIT’s CMS/W, and deeply happy.

Jake Bernstein

Ph.D. – Neuroscience, MIT
B.S. – Physics, MIT

Projects: Prometheus (lead); NanoWhiskers

Charlene Xia

Charlene joined the Future Ocean lab in 2018, intrigued by the multidisciplinary aspects of ocean engineering and excited by ocean exploration. She has a background in Mechanical Engineering and Material Science from MIT, and aims to create meaningful and positively impactful innovations. Currently, she is working on low-cost technology that empowers underwater exploration for all. She still has quite a lot to learn, and welcomes all collaborations on her open source projects!

Projects: OpenModem (lead)

JunSu Jang

JunSu is a first year Master’s student at the MIT Media Lab. For his undergraduate, he majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. In the middle of his Bachelor’s, he spent two years to serve the army back home in South Korea, during which he was deployed as a UN Peacekeeper in South Sudan (UNMISS). He has lived in South Korea, China and the U.S.A., and he hopes to travel more to engage with people from diverse culture and be able to tell their stories in the context of their engagement with the sea, if possible. From those experiences, he would also like to find real problems and deliver novel yet useful technology for better engagement between humans and the ocean.

Projects: Minion; D.O.T.

John Soucie

John is a Ph.D. student in the MIT-WHOI Joint Program studying mechanical engineering and applied ocean science and engineering. He is interested in applying Bayesian methods to robotic path planning and sampling problems, to better characterize spatiotemporally sparse phenomena in the ocean. In addition to the Future Oceans lab, he is a part of the WHOI Autonomous Robotics and Perception Laboratory (WARPLab). Prior to attending MIT, he recieved a B.A. and M.S. in physics from the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied ocean teleconnections pathways of signal propagation from large polynyas in the Weddell Sea. Outside of the lab, he is a member of the MIT Wind Ensemble and the MIT Concert Band.

Projects: DeepHolo (lead)

Evan Denmark

When he’s not making his own peanut butter, producing a podcast, or running a marathon somewhere in the world, Evan Denmark finds himself as an MEng student interested in exploring the world through the interface of storytelling and technology. He hails from the man-made island of Cape Cod, where the seed for his love of the ocean was planted. Before joining the Future Ocean Lab, Evan lived on a boat in Oakland, CA and worked at Pixar Animation Studios, where he got film credits on Cars 3 and Incredibles 2. You can learn more about Evan's work on his website.

Projects: Nautilus AR (lead); Prometheus

Lauren Futami

Born and raised in southern California, Lauren grew up spending many fun times drowning in the ocean. She graduated from Wellesley College in 2018, and now uses her Media Arts and Sciences training to assist in projects like 360 degree video stitching of underwater dives and 3D modeling with photogrammetry. She also likes sharks because they are so scary.

Projects: Nautilus AR; lab manager



low-cost, low-power acoustic communications



a handheld system for real-time 3D mapping of underwater caves


a massively-deplorable Lagrangian float for exploring the biological carbon pump


an ultra-low velocity flow meter


a high-sensitivity deep-water radiometric and spectroscopic observatory


a 4500m rated cinema-caliber 360 video system for deep sea documentary and exploration


a low-power long-duration anti-fouling system for optical sensors


an ML suite for in situ holographic imaging

Audacious CTD

low-cost CTD that measures conductivity, temperature and depth


an AR/VR app for immersive exploration of deep-sea habitats (and the ships and robots that explore them)


a low-cost, low-complexity drop camera for deep sea exploration



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