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

The Team

NTNU, Stanford, Yanmar

2 schools

1 corporate sponsor

7 students

8 months


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.


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

Oyster Farming Findings

Prototyping &  Testing

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


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


  • 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.