Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Robot Submarine To Dive Deep In the Caribbean

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the why-don't-we-make-robot-sharks-instead dept.

Earth 99

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to BBC News, a new UK autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Autosub6000, will soon start to explore the world's deepest undersea volcanoes, located in the Caribbean. Autosub6000 has a range of up to 1,000 kilometers and has a maximum operating depth of 6,000 meters. It is 5.5 meters long, has a diameter of 0.9 meters, and is equipped with a high-performance GPS unit. For these two expeditions, each close to a month long, Autosub6000 will be joined by the Isis remotely operated vehicle, which is able to operate at a depth of 6,000 meters and grab animal specimens. Researchers from the National Oceanography Center in Southampton will lead these missions. They expect that 'one in every two animals they come across will be a species new to science' once the robots reach a depth of 3,000 meters." Specifications for the submarine (PDF) are also available.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

That's been around for years. (3, Funny)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549863)

There's been a submarine exploring the Cayman Trough [atlantisadventures.com] for years now.

.
.
.
. ;)

mods missed both the wink and the link ;) (3, Funny)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551457)

Looks like someone missed both the link and the winking emoticon.

At a depth of about 60 feet, which is quite comfortable given life support, I was a little startled when that very submarine snuck up on me scuba diving near Sunset House.

Re:mods missed both the wink and the link ;) (1)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 6 years ago | (#24558437)

did you wave to the tourists?

Re:mods missed both the wink and the link ;) (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561755)

I would have shot the bird. *grin*

Re:mods missed both the wink and the link ;) (1)

paulthomas (685756) | more than 6 years ago | (#24573141)

Of course!

So much for tradition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24552137)

A joke link about autonomous submersibles and it isn't even porn-related...

Nervous Whales? (1)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549865)

Soon whales will be telling tales of alien anal-probes from outer space.

GPS? (3, Funny)

jeffb (2.718) (1189693) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549867)

Wouldn't it have to be awfully high-performance GPS to work under 6km of water?

The GPS is only used on the surface (3, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549899)

The robot will use sonar, compass and dead reckoning underwater. When it surfaces it can correct itself with GPS.

GPS will work down to a foot or so if you have the right antenna.

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (3, Informative)

monsul (1342167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549959)

GPS will work down to a foot or so if you have the right antenna.

And sooner than later, deeper than a foot: Underwater GPS patent [slashdot.org]

Granted, will probably be used only for military applications, but would be quite cool to have one of those while scuba diving

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550017)

What happens when you dive/dig so deep that you actually pass through the center of the earth? Would it just switch over to a different satellite and say you're in China? (because China is obviously directly opposite the USA). Start a sentence with "because."

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

RabidMoose (746680) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550221)

"Because" you don't seem to know how big the Earth actually is, I'll just explain why this is nowhere NEAR that happening. These subs are going to about 6,000 meters. The radius of the earth is about 6,000,000 meters.

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550293)

I know; I was going for Funny. And I wrote that thing about "because" because the previous sentence I started with because. I didn't mean to tell the person who replied to do so, haha.

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#24555463)

What if you're in the exact center of the earth? How does the triangulation work there? And can you use the metallic core as a gigantic antenna?

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24556649)

Maybe we should ask Brendan Fraser?

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#24558745)

What if you're in the exact center of the earth?

if you hiccup you change your position 60 degrees!

That isn't gps working underwater (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550231)

The GPS places a sonar station and sonar places the vehicle. A few simple calculations and you have a GPS position extended to an underwater location.

Re:That isn't gps working underwater (3, Informative)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551719)

The sub uses GPS for positioning on and near the surface. The rest of the way it's using inertial navigation. USL@NOC is also working on multibeam sonar so that the robot can assess its position using geologic features on the bottom (up to about 200m away I expect) for position keeping in a current.

Re:That isn't gps working underwater (1)

ssimmons (22842) | more than 6 years ago | (#24559621)

The sub uses GPS for positioning on and near the surface. The rest of the way it's using inertial navigation.

USL@NOC is also working on multibeam sonar so that the robot can assess its position using geologic features on the bottom (up to about 200m away I expect) for position keeping in a current.

I'm not sure why they'd use a multi-beam for station keeping when they already have an ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) on board. The particular ADCP they're using here was made by a company I used to work for (in fact, I wrote a lot of the firmware in that sucker) and is accurate to within a few tenths of a percent and can track the bottom out to 200m.

Re:The GPS is only used on the surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24561269)

GPS will work down to a foot or so if you have the right antenna.

An antenna more than a foot long by any chance?

Re:GPS? (3, Informative)

MacJedi (173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549921)

They're likely communicating with a surface bouys over a more appropriate frequency. The bouys then do the actual communicating with the satellites. See, eg: http://www.underwater-gps.com/uk/technology-GIB-concept.php [underwater-gps.com]

Re:GPS? (1)

MacJedi (173) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549927)

Buoys, rather. *Sigh*.

Re:GPS? (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 6 years ago | (#24554197)

Or "boo-ees" as Americans insist on calling them !

Re:GPS? (1)

loonicks (807801) | more than 6 years ago | (#24556253)

The PDF document makes reference to its navigation accuracy relative to the last GPS or USBL update. USBL is an underwater positioning system in which the topside (boat) notifies the vehicle of its (the vehicle's) position. First, the topside's acoustic transducer pings the vehicle and determines the direction and distance of the vehicle's response ping. Using some trig and its own GPS position, the topside calculates the vehicle's position, and sends it in an acoustic message down to the vehicle. Coupled with a high-accuracy internal navigation system on the vehicle, this allows the vehicle to stay at depth and hold its survey course for long periods.

Re:GPS? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 6 years ago | (#24562533)

Why can't they just use a bob and tether? Have a GPS antenna floating on a mini buoy and a wire connected to the sub.

Animal specimens? (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549873)

Well, I hope they debugged their image-recognition code.

In any case, I wouldn't like to be a scuba-diver near this vehicle.

Re:Animal specimens? (3, Interesting)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549941)

If you scuba dive to 6k feet, you're bad enough not to care about this sub. On the other hand, I hope it doesn't grab the last female of some highly endangered species that was just about to make a remarkable recovery.

Re:Animal specimens? (2, Insightful)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550127)

I very much doubt that a species with one female left is likely to recover.

Re:Animal specimens? (4, Funny)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550235)

The Smurfs seem to be doing okay.

Gratuitous Venture Brothers quote:

Henchman 24: Come on, they have one female servicing a large group of males. That implies a species that lays eggs!
Henchman 21: Oh my god, you're crazy, they are so obviously mammals!
Henchman 24: Please, she'd be in estrus 24/7 if she didn't lay eggs!
Henchman 21: Smurfs don't lay eggs! I won't tell you this again. Papa Smurf has a fucking beard, they're mammals!

Re:Animal specimens? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550425)

Smurfette was created by gargamel, so unless every generation of smurfs require the aid of a mad wizard to procreate, I doubt the presence of a single smurfette matters.

Re:Animal specimens? (1)

NoPantsJim (1149003) | more than 6 years ago | (#24559409)

You made me do it...

From Donnie Darko:

Sean Smith: We gotta find ourselves a Smurfette.
Ronald Fisher: Smurfette?
Sean Smith: Yeah, not some tight-ass Middlesex chick, right? Like this cute little blonde that will get down and dirty with the guys. Like Smurfette does.
Donnie: Smurfette doesn't fuck.
Sean Smith: That's bullshit. Smurfette fucks all the other Smurfs. Why do you think Papa Smurf made her? Because all the other Smurfs were getting too horny.
Ronald Fisher: No, no, no, not Vanity. I heard he was a homosexual.
Sean Smith: Okay, then, you know what? She fucks them and Vanity watches. Okay?
Ronald Fisher: What about Papa Smurf? I mean, he must get in on all the action.
Sean Smith: Yeah, what he does, he films the gang-bang, and he beats off to the tape.
Donnie: [shouts] First of all, Papa Smurf didn't create Smurfette. Gargamel did. She was sent in as Gargamel's evil spy with the intention of destroying the Smurf village. But the overwhelming goodness of the Smurf way of life transformed her. And as for the whole gang-bang scenario, it just couldn't happen. Smurfs are asexual. They don't even have... reproductive organs under those little, white pants. It's just so illogical, you know, about being a Smurf. You know, what's the point of living... if you don't have a dick?

Re:Animal specimens? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#24555993)

That implies a species that lays eggs ... Papa Smurf has a fucking beard, they're mammals
 
Smurfs are therefore monotremes [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Animal specimens? (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550199)

meters, not feets.

Better to grip the last male? You want all the females of all soon to be extinct animals?

Robot goes down (5, Funny)

nategoose (1004564) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549893)

I like my headline better.

Re:Robot goes down (1)

monsul (1342167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549965)

Robot gets wet, goes down

I like mine better

Re:Robot goes down (1)

Fear the Clam (230933) | more than 6 years ago | (#24554009)

Computer says no.

As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549947)

It really pisses the aliens off.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (2, Funny)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550069)

Come on, Nessie isn't an alien. Oh wait, that's in England.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

monsul (1342167) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551501)

Come on, Nessie isn't an alien. Oh wait, that's in England.

Scotland actually :)

I'm not a Brit but living here in Scotland makes you realise how many people confuse The United Kingdom [wikipedia.org] with the biggest of its constituents countries, England [wikipedia.org]

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552103)

And then Britain with either of them. The order is (if I recall correctly):

United Kingdom
        Britain
                England
                Scotland
                Wales
        Northern Ireland

It seems quite confusing to those not really familiar with the situation (and even to some UKers I've talked to), but it wouldn't be if no one ever popularized such confusion in the first place, which makes me curious how it all got started.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552127)

And I suppose that I could be even wrong for conflating Great Britain with de facto Britain, although I didn't intend any such error.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 6 years ago | (#24553801)

And don't forget the various Crown Dependencies [wikipedia.org] and British overseas territories [wikipedia.org] which are not part of the United Kingdom. Of course residents or almost all of them have British citizenship so can be referred to as British (although specific 'local difficulties' may make the term offensive to some).

Confused yet?

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

strabes (1075839) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552451)

You're right; sorry about that.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (1)

Evil Pete (73279) | more than 6 years ago | (#24553131)

I think he might have been referring to The Abyss [wikipedia.org] .

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550227)

Arrogant swine, do you really think your privative atom splitting devices will harm the great Cthulhu?!

privative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550321)

If he's as powerful as your spelling, I'd say yes.

Re:privative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24551313)

My bad, I put way too much faith in Firefox's POS spell chewer.

Re:As long as they don't bring a nuke down there. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550879)

Will Jessica Alba get wet on bikinis again?

Lyrics (5, Funny)

PatTheGreat (956344) | more than 6 years ago | (#24549995)

In the town where I was born
Lived a man who sailed to sea
And he told us of his life
In the land of submarines

So we sailed up to the sun
Till we found the sea of green
And we lived beneath the waves
In our Robot submarine

We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine
We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine

And our friends are all on board
Many more of them live next door
And the band begins to play

We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine
We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine

[Full speed ahead, Mr. Parker, full speed ahead!
Full speed over here, sir!
Action station! Action station!
Aye, aye, sir, fire!
Heaven! Heaven!]

As we live a life of ease (A life of ease)
Everyone of us (Everyone of us) has all we need (Has all we need)
Sky of blue (Sky of blue) and sea of green (Sea of green)
In our Robot (In our Robot) submarine (Submarine, ha, ha)

We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine
We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine
We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine
We all live in a Robot submarine
Robot submarine, Robot submarine

Re:Lyrics (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551473)

I think you should email this to Jonathan Coulton.

Why only 6000m? (5, Interesting)

B5_geek (638928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550113)

Knowing nothing of the engineering involved here I have a laymans question. Why is it limited to 6km? Why can't they fill the sub with a non-conductive liquid like mineral oil, thus negating the effect of pressure on the hull of the sub? If they are carefull about the electronics that they install, they can make sure that there are no air pockets that can be compressed.

Seems much too simple not to work, so why doesn't it?

Re:Why only 6000m? (0, Redundant)

aliquis (678370) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550205)

Obvious question: What says oil expands and compresses as water do?

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550243)

Light oils are generally more compressible than water.

If something were easy, it would have been done already.

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550577)

Obvious question: What says oil expands and compresses as water do?

The compression of the water is irrelevant, it's only the compression of the oil that matters. Since it's a liquid, it won't be much (compared to say air). Just connect the inside and outside through a flexible bladder to equalize the pressure, with a reserve of oil as needed.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

Jefan (1096649) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550217)

Maybe they'll run out of water? ;D

Re:Why only 6000m? (2, Interesting)

jcnnghm (538570) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550277)

Must have been a design decision. Subs, even manned subs, have been to the deepest part of the ocean, the Challenger Deep. It's about 11km down IIRC, and life exists at the bottom. There aren't any subs that can dive to that depth today though.

Chances are it's considerably easier and less expensive to build a sub that doesn't dive as deep. Plus, if what you want to study is only under 6km of water, it doesn't make much sense to design for anything else.

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550795)

Don't forget about the heat of the underwater volcanoes.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550313)

I'd venture to guess that a lot of the electronics are too delicate to be able to survive such crushing pressures, and thus such a pressure-equalized submersible would not be feasible.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

PMuse (320639) | more than 6 years ago | (#24554763)

Mod parent up. The hulls of manned subs are designed to maintain a low-pressure environment inside to protect components (e.g., people) that can't handle high pressure.

In an unmanned sub, you can adopt a hull that doesn't keep the pressure out (i.e., one that just keeps out the conductive, corrosive water), but then all your interior components must withstand the high pressure. Components that deform when compressed may not be usable then.

Re:Why only 6000m? (2, Interesting)

Athena1101 (582706) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550493)

I work on AUVs for a US company. 6000m pretty much covers 99% of the ocean floor; it's not worth the engineering tradeoffs to go deeper. And yeah, filling pressure vessels with mineral oil is one strategy, but honestly the bigger issues are power and navigation.

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550589)

Excuse my ignorance, but how can you say that it's not worth the engineering tradeoffs?
We basically know nothing about deep-sea life, so isn't it a bit presumptuous to claim that it's not worth it?

Re:Why only 6000m? (5, Informative)

Athena1101 (582706) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550805)

Many commercial AUVs are rated to, at most, 6000m. The tradeoffs there are business: basically none of the customers want it any deeper, because, like I said, that depth rating can handle almost the entire ocean. So if this group's main driver is availability of technology and components to work from to build their AUV, they're probably willing to focus on just the 3000m-6000m range to take advantage of that. This isn't to say it's not worth it at all, and there are vehicles that can go deeper. But the question was asked, "Why are these guys limited to 6000m?" It's not technologically infeasible to go deeper, but practically speaking, they don't need to in order to get the information they need. Tradeoffs.

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24551047)

Okay, thank you for your explanation.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551781)

Since you're in the field perhaps you can answer my question as well... The linked PDF in the summary shows a speed-vs-range graph that has a linear falloff. I would have expected drag to increase on the square of the speed, as it does in aircraft, and so the power requirement to increase on the square as well. (i.e.: 2 x speed causes 4 x drag and 4 x power requirement, so 1/4 of range.) What would I be missing here?

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552387)

Never mind... twice the speed for 1/4 of the time would give you half the range. I just wasn't thinking fourth-dimensionally. I have a real problem with that. :)

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

Ruie (30480) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550929)

Knowing nothing of the engineering involved here I have a laymans question. Why is it limited to 6km? Why can't they fill the sub with a non-conductive liquid like mineral oil, thus negating the effect of pressure on the hull of the sub? If they are carefull about the electronics that they install, they can make sure that there are no air pockets that can be compressed.

Seems much too simple not to work, so why doesn't it?

They actually partially do it - the PDF boasts that the lithium polymer battery pack is not housed in pressurized compartment.

Pressure at 6km is around 60 mega pascals [wikipedia.org] which will deform titanium or glass by about 0.05-0.1 percent [wikipedia.org] . Plastics deform more, in a few percent range. This will pretty much rip apart a conventional PCB. Accordingly the submarine has a titanium pressure vessel for electronics.

One could, theoretically, imagine a loosely mounted design [wikipedia.org] that can withstand high pressures, but it would certainly be an interesting research project in itself. For example, one would likely have to mount bare chips and avoid electrolytic capacitors - which have plastic-like substance inside.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

neonsignal (890658) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551999)

I can see the lateral thinking in your idea. However, it would actually complicate the engineering, because now every component would be subjected to high pressure, not just the shell. There would be all sorts of unexpected effects. The plastic in semiconductor packages would deform and damage the internals, capacitors would compress and change value, solenoids and motors would have to be filled with oil (which would result in too much frictional loss), optics paths and lighting would be filled with oil, and there would be all sorts of mechanical stresses caused by variations in materials and "in-gassing" of the oil into plastics. It's not that these problems couldn't be accounted for, but the effort would be more than the effort to build the hull.

Re:Why only 6000m? (1)

stevenm86 (780116) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552415)

Certain components are already filled with oil. Most notably these are the thrusters, whose waterproof bearings cannot handle the pressure. So, they fill them with oil and put an expansion bladder on the outside. Then there are magnetic couplings, which are a whole other barrel of fun altogether.

Re:Why only 6000m? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24558389)

There are a lot of different materials used in an autonomous submarine. You've got electrical systems, hydraulic systems, and mechanical systems that include bearings and lubrication. Any compressable pocket of material will cause deformation of the surrounding structures if it is not enclosed in a capsule designed to withstand compression. My guess is that the sub's design does include several such capsules, or use of materials that will compress and deform to some extent, and thus it has an operational pressure ceiling.

These things are really hard to build, and really expensive. Unless you design and manufacture every tiny component, you have no choice but to buy things like batteries and switches and cameras and strobes (which have vacuum-filled light bulbs) and motors, etc etc from other companies. They have typically rated their devices to 6000 meters, so that's probably the number you'll have in mind. Even so, surely you could go to 6020 meters.. or maybe 6100.. or possibly 6150...

Iä Iä, Cthulhu fhtagn! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550171)

Even if the stars aren't aligned, just poke the Great Old Ones with a nifty unmanned submarine! :)

bernie mac and isaac hayes? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550281)

two dead niggers in two days. too bad it wasn't two million.

one in every two animals a new species (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550355)

This is the exciting part to me. While all the talk recently is of life in space, Mars etc, the possibility of finding 'alien' life down in our oceans is realistic and has incredible implications. There are sulphur eating methanogens down there that live in water temperatures of >400 degrees Celsius, things that redefine what 'life' is. Some of these could yield new materials, new medicines, or fresh insights into evolution.

Re:one in every two animals a new species (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552299)

I should point out for people not familiar with this why that's incredible: It's a source of life that doesn't rely on the Sun in any way. Before, even the deepest deep sea creatures lived off the sun as they fed off what comes down from above -- when they're not eating each other, that is.

Re:one in every two animals a new species (1)

SimeonArgus (1341213) | more than 6 years ago | (#24554817)

And are we certain that by us snagging them, we aren't endangering the local habitat? Or taking the female of a species that only mates once ever 50 years? If these creatures live at >500 degrees (as some have said), how will we keep them alive in the sub in order to put them back when we are done? Or will we snag them, kill thim, then inspect them, all in the name of science?

(note: I say go for it, but thought I'd stir the kettle a little. I figured SOMEONE would have raised all of these questions already.)

Re:one in every two animals a new species (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#24559267)

new medicines from organisms that live at 400 degrees C, we elect you to be the guinea pig.

evolutionnary reboot (1)

DrYak (748999) | more than 6 years ago | (#24561009)

There are sulphur eating methanogens down there that live in water temperatures of >400 degrees Celsius, things that redefine what 'life' is. Some of these could yield {...} fresh insights into evolution.

Or some of these could even reboot the evolutionary process and re-populate the planet even in case that we humans manage to screw so much up that we successfully take with us and wipe out all life forms from the surface of the planet (although it's not very likely that nothing survives whatever we manage to put out) or if a major cataclysm suddenly sterilizes all life on the surface (like a nearby gamma ray burst [wikipedia.org] destroying the eco-system and causing mass extinction).

Looks like once you achieve "life" on a planet, it's realy hard to definitely get rid of it.

I For One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550463)

Welcome our new robot sub underlords

Cue Wicked Witch of the West... (1)

jmichaelg (148257) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550519)

I wonder if the robot is smart enough not to scald itself if it comes across vents that are hotter than its design specs. The article says some of the vents reach 500C. Lead-free solder melts at half that temperature.

 

Donkey Kong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550575)

They expect that 'one in every two animals they come across will be a species new to science' once the robots reach a depth of 3,000 meters."

CowboyNeal, how low can you climb?

Another underwater vehicle (1)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550627)

Another very very cool underwater vehicle that does projects like this on a regular basis is Nekton Delta, by Delta Oceanographics [deltaoceanographics.com] . This vehicle has made over 7,000 dives around the world, including being the first vehicle to dive in the extremely salty Dead Sea. A very cool site to check out if you're into underwater exploration.

R'lyeh (1)

Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24550737)

I seriously hope they don't find the lost city of R'lyeh and awake Cthulhu.

Deep in the Caribbean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24550791)

Umm, I think I picked up on a reference here... But the words made me think of the first words of the Monkey Island-series of games.

Having played them all and the first part on the Amiga I feel _really_ old now... Oh well, maybe someone will sympathize.

Re:Deep in the Caribbean (1)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 6 years ago | (#24553975)

Yep, my first thought too! Actually I was going to ask "will they find the Island of Melee(c)?" :D

[/. should accept utf-8]

Re:Deep in the Caribbean (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24555783)

i was kinda hoping they'd found that blasted "secret"...

Jokes on Them (5, Funny)

lordfoul (108260) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551279)

I put a ROBOTS.TXT down there last month.

Re:Jokes on Them (1)

Icarium (1109647) | more than 6 years ago | (#24553807)

The deep sea spiders are pissed, but the submarines don't seem to care...

Re:Jokes on Them (1)

Bat Country (829565) | more than 6 years ago | (#24559705)

Neither do the worms.

Is there a secret secondary mission? (2, Interesting)

Shipwack (684009) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551303)

I wonder if there is any intention to do any deep sea reconnaissance on lost subs or sunken ships? Maybe not at the extreme 6K level, but a bit closer than that. Wouldn't be the first time that deep sea exploration was used as a cover for something else... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USNS_Glomar_Explorer_(T-AG-193) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Is there a secret secondary mission? (1)

thermian (1267986) | more than 6 years ago | (#24552833)

Unlikely, the secret/disguised deep sea missions were cold war era events.

These days, countries would want to boast about what they could do when going that deep.

In those cases where there was a reason to keep it secret, the mission wouldn't be announced in the first place.

However ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551349)

...which is able to operate at a depth of 6,000 meters and grab animal specimens.
.... They expect that 'one in every two animals they come across will be a species new to science'...

However, one in four animals they grab will have a mother that is 20 meters long and has tentacles that can crush a robot submarine.

The Blue Marine (1)

robinesque (977170) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551477)

Good luck, Fox!

Is it painted yellow? (0, Flamebait)

xednieht (1117791) | more than 6 years ago | (#24551709)

Wouldn't it be funny if the engineers that designed it calculated it's specs in meters and the guy operating it smoked a pound of ganja?

What are they looking for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24552209)

Let me doubt it's new spices. More likely they are looking for sunk spanish ships, specifically for the gold they carried.

1000km range? (1)

WoollyMittens (1065278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24553875)

Why is the range so important if you have to tether the darn thing to actually steer it places?

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

TheCybernator (996224) | more than 6 years ago | (#24554789)

.....navigator bails out a lost sub using SMS!! Details at 11.

Does anyone know what the hell a "Submarine" is? (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 6 years ago | (#24557807)

That thing truly is a PROBE, or some unmanned vehicle. Submarine:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Submarine [wikipedia.org]

So, while a submarine "CAN" include robotic vehicles, that thing is so small as to not merit being called a submarine. (It's small enough to fit up a whale's ass...) On top of that, it has a limited range, doesn't carry people, and is remotely controlled.

I suppose anyone thinking of model/RC submarines in a lake would take me to task. But, those are MODELS, representations of real submarines.

Just my $0.02

What's in a name? (1)

butterwise (862336) | more than 6 years ago | (#24558455)

So they call this thing "Autosub6000." I guess it's pretty descriptive, but how unoriginal. How about, "Welcome to Jamaica mon, have a nice day."?

Once they get down there... (1)

Kaptain Kruton (854928) | more than 6 years ago | (#24559207)

I bet they will find that Kilroy was already there.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?