“Sitting here in the bunker now, exploring the frontier of a machine-based future,” startup robotics company iRobot co-founder Colin Angle wrote on the company’s website when he announced the launch of the ROV Scout in January, 2001. For nearly two decades, the Scout has been mapping the sea floor, a critical first step in understanding how to develop technologies to protect the ocean, and where they might be needed most. If you’ve ever seen Discovery Channel’s Biome projects, or watching a CNN documentary about the underground caves of the Atacama Desert, you probably have an idea of what it is like to explore a different frontier, above ground. When it comes to sea floor exploration, however, many researchers say it’s significantly more difficult.
In search of answers, iRobot has been working with a coalition of underwater exploration teams to map the seafloor. The mapping project was led by the Navy’s Research and Development Laboratory (RDLS) and aimed to map underwater “clay depression” sites, a practice known as trenching. Unlike scientists who want to plan an ambitious expedition and explore a feature before building in set environmental parameters, researchers have the option of surveying existing structures and going as far as they can get, even before the regulatory system gets rolling. This approach allows teams to map a deep sea site, which can then be developed to benefit the ocean, in a low-risk, stress-free manner. “These projects can do a lot of science, a lot of education, a lot of exploration,” said Jim McGowan, the Naval Surface Warfare Center’s Chief Engineer.
RICHLAND, VA – AUTO & RU, MEDIUM TERM: A MAMMOTH ROV SCOUT PROTOCOL REVEALED. iRobot today released high quality interactive visuals from iRobot’s ROV Scout mission pictures that reveal intricate water system dynamics and provides unprecedented clarity. The latest software builds on previous 2016 technology — which is laid out like this graphical representation. The layered visualization reveals details of the sea floor like krill biomass, carnivorous organisms and health of areas. “These ROV’s terrains scan the sea floor and provide vital perspectives of ocean microclimates,” said eiRobot Research & Development Senior Manager Melissa Paul. “iRobot supports the Navy’s efforts to optimize the application of technology to better predict and detect threats from predatory organisms.” ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This small submersible vehicle provides a unique view of beneath the water’s surface. The vehicle helps prioritize the Navy’s dynamic reconnaissance capability to effectively enforce an expanded national defense strategy. To download the high-res images, click here https://secure.rckrint.com/whew/ROCALSK – iRobot
According to Paul, an unprecedented level of transparency is required for government agencies to approach technology with the right balance of state secrets and transparent information. For 20 years, however, government agencies have only released photographs of the sea floor. The new high-res mapping technique, which was developed in 2016, was successful in restoring a common, “shallow crustal substrate and restoring the control of underwater salt concentrations over an entire seamount in just 40 seconds,” iRobot said. Scientists now believe that sea level rise, which has been predicted for decades, can be prevented by taking in water where it should go, and preventing ocean erosion and shipping slips.
Read the full story at iRobot.
China’s military deploys surveillance robots, infantry robots for mid-air assaults
Scientist on his cell phone while trying to collect rocks in the depths of French ocean bed
Minoru Murakami: Scientific method fails professor who obtains bright red hair from a sea snail