Orata

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A year long master’s thesis project consulting for Yanmar to design an innovative product to improve aquaculture operations.

The Team

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NTNU, Stanford, Yanmar

2 schools

1 corporate sponsor

7 students

8 months

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Discovery

We used a combination of interviews and shadowing users to immerse ourselves into the operations of oyster farms. Our users included, oyster farm crew members, farm managers, and farm owners.

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Findings

Based on our ethnographic interviews, we were able to characterize the life of an intertidal longline oyster and identify pain points in the process.

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Prototyping &  Testing

Based on our findings we explored the solution space with a series of prototypes.

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Solution

Our final solution was a modular oyster growing bags with integrated biomass sensing and passive tidal sorting.

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Impact

  • Based on prototype testing, we anticipate our solution would lead to a two-thirds reduction in labor hours during the growth of an oyster. For the small to mid-sized farms we worked with, this would lead to a 15% reduction in annual operating costs.

  • Yanmar, a large multinational corporation in this space, chose to continue development of our concept after our final presentation.

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