The Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution (WHOI) has announced a new type of
robot they're calling the Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle (HROV). In
addition to being operated by remote control via a tether like normal
ROVs, the HROV can also operate autonomously like AUV. WHOI intends to
use the new robot to explore the deepest parts of the ocean, more than
11,000 meters below the surface. The robot is battery-powered and can go
for up to 36 hours before returning for a recharge. The timing
of the new robot couldn't be better. A recent National Research Council
report has a identified a need for more and better underwater
vehicles for basic ocean research.
- - because I suspect that they will have a heck of a time trying to
retrieve the micro fiber optical cable thing after it has been
jetisoned by the HROV. I have trouble trying to "retrieve" bottom
fishing lures and monofilament lines without snagging stuff and
think that there will be similar, but much greater, problems in
retrieving what seem to be three long sections of optical cable that
get tangled up with all sorts of strange things from the deepest
places in the oceans.
Actually it looks like they leave the descent weights, ascent weights,
and the micro cable on the seabed.
More trash and litter for the ocean.
Humm, maybe one of the Giant Squids or Collossal Squids will take
umbrage and trash the ROV on them. Hopefully they'll get a couple
photos before the ROV is trashed.