Field Robotics and Paleontology

Finding fossils is awesome.  Having robots do it for you is even better.

Robotic Micropaleontology


-noun, plural – fossil hunting robots. Paleobots use neural nets to classify fossils.  They excavate them and collect them.

Robotic Paleontology

Breakthroughs in machine learning have enabled field robots to identify and collect fossils.


Photos and information about my fossils and fossil collections


Photos and stories of past expeditions


I’m always working on something – Robots, fossils and computer vision

Media coverage

Print, television, and web


A lot of my code is available under open source licenses for you to use.


I am a patented inventor! See the text and diagrams here.

Some fossil collections from my expeditions

Hemipristis Data Set

Here is a data set for training a neural net to find hemipristis fossil teeth in a sandy matrix.  The background is sandpaper. [gallery...


North Carolina Miocene coral fossil

Some fossil collections from my expeditions

Old-School Brownie

I went back to Brownie with some high rubber boots. No robotics, just noodling around on the beach and clay matrix. We got there at about 7 o'clock to catch the 8:48 low tide. Soon after we passed the first bend around the cliffs we saw some interesting hunks of clay....

Visit to TU Delft

I visited TU Delft. I had prepared a presentation of Paleobot 2. Luckily, it wasn't too hard to find somebody interested in seeing my work. I met Proffessor Kooij and his grad students while they were having a break from work. They were a kind and receptive audience....

FTC World Championship

For two years I have participated in the FTC robotics program. Last year I wrote a computer-vision-based autonomous control. FTC stands for First Tech Challenge, founded by inventor Dean Kamen. It is for high school students. Unlike First Lego Legue, FTC robots are...

Paleobot Two field tests

This weekend (March 4th) I dragged my family to the beach to do some field tests for my robot. We visited a place in the Chesapeake bay commonly known as Brownie Beach. It was a great time for field testing due to a very low tide. This exposed more soil types so that...

Computer-vision-based robot controller

This is an Android app that controls an FTC competition robot. The controller uses the device's camera to analyze a live video feed of the robot's environment. The teleoperator can select a target with the touchscreen. A calibrate mode allows for setting precise HSV...

Visit us at the Maker’s Faire, March 2018

Come to our booth at the Northern Virginia Mini Maker’s Faire, March 18th


See the Paleobots

See both versions of the paleobots on display.

Run your own paleobot

Come by our booth and try a real paleobot.

Take home a fossil of your own

If your paleobot finds a fossil, you can keep it.