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Where's Waldo (the Submarine)?

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the keep-an-eye-out dept.

Robotics 107

stoolpigeon writes "Scientists on Florida's Gulf Coast are trying to find an underwater robot that has mysteriously vanished. The robot from the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota has been missing since Monday. The robot, which cost about $100,000, was equipped with a detector to find red tide, a toxic algae bloom. The detector was valued at another $30,000. Scientists aren't sure what happened to the robot, which is nicknamed Waldo."

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For Future Reference... (5, Funny)

istartedi (132515) | about 5 years ago | (#29328521)

...quit naming stuff "Waldo". You won't have this problem.

Re:For Future Reference... (4, Funny)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | about 5 years ago | (#29328637)

They could have gone with the original idea and called it Hoffa...

Re:For Future Reference... (3, Funny)

palegray.net (1195047) | about 5 years ago | (#29328641)

Obligatory [lmnotees.com] response.

Re:For Future Reference... (4, Funny)

maugle (1369813) | about 5 years ago | (#29328749)

Could've been worse. Could've named it "Carmen Sandiego".

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

memristance (1285036) | about 5 years ago | (#29328807)

Well, at least then they could've used Rockapella for echolocation...

Re:For Future Reference... (3, Funny)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 5 years ago | (#29328875)

Ha ha. Old timer. Played with Fortran or COBOL lately?

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

skine (1524819) | about 5 years ago | (#29329027)

At least with Carmen Sandiego, we get clues about the loot, warrant and crook, and are able to track down the V.I.L.E. henchmen that will lead us to her.

Personally, I blame RoboCrook, but maybe we should ask (the one and only) Plastic Diver Guy.

Re:For Future Reference... (4, Funny)

BACPro (206388) | about 5 years ago | (#29329103)

Waldo is one of a treo of subs.
The others are named Nemo and Carmen.

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | about 5 years ago | (#29329143)

*trio

If serious, [citation needed].

If silly, please get modded +5, Funny. That was a nice one. :)

Re:For Future Reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329417)

No actually, treo was right, they're driven by palm pilots.

Re:For Future Reference... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329531)

No, he's serious.

This link [mote.org] was provided by a previous poster.

Waldo - along with two other AUVs nicknamed Carmen and Nemo - has been "on the job" for Mote since 2005

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

rhyder128k (1051042) | about 5 years ago | (#29330931)

The USS Economy.

Re:For Future Reference... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328795)

I was once hiking on mt lemon near. Tuscon and ran into a guy searching for his lost dog named nemo...

Re:For Future Reference... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328943)

Partial list of names you should not use:
- Waldo
- Nemo
- Titanic

Re:For Future Reference... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329117)

And then they stuck it in the middle of a red tide. You'd think they'd know better.

Re:For Future Reference... (1, Offtopic)

Rennt (582550) | about 5 years ago | (#29329123)

I think you sig should read "For all intents and purposes".

However I will concede the possibility I missed the point of your little joke. This is why was not so bold as to "fix that for you".

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

nacturation (646836) | about 5 years ago | (#29329449)

I think his sig is grammar bait.

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

Rennt (582550) | about 5 years ago | (#29329505)

I'm afraid it was (begs the question?!). Stylishly done.

Re:For Future Reference... (3, Funny)

i_liek_turtles (1110703) | about 5 years ago | (#29329181)

Oh, come on, it can't be that hard to find a red and white striped robot.

Nomen est omen. (1)

Sumbius (1500703) | about 5 years ago | (#29329719)

Nomen est omen. Great, it must be half way to Mexico by now.

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

ZeRu (1486391) | about 5 years ago | (#29330409)

Waldo isn't such a terrible name actually. He always can be found with some effort.

Re:For Future Reference... (1)

56ker (566853) | about 5 years ago | (#29330529)

Even scientists need pet names for things. Anyway Waldo is supposed to detect red tides. So Waldo is probably wherever there is a red tide (or somewhere one is likely to be). Look for te red tide, find Waldo!

Mind you Waldo might be out finding the red and white striped tide in order to hide better. :P

Hrmm (5, Funny)

Kratisto (1080113) | about 5 years ago | (#29328543)

You'd think it would be pretty easy to find a red and white striped submarine; though I guess it's currently surrounded by hundreds of other submarines, some of which are painted red and white.

Re:Hrmm (3, Funny)

Fiddlingfrog (718529) | about 5 years ago | (#29328607)

Only the one with a bobble hat and glasses is the real sub.

Re:Hrmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328615)

It's all about the cane

Re:Hrmm (1)

HeronBlademaster (1079477) | about 5 years ago | (#29329457)

Don't forget the shoes!

Fish Story (4, Funny)

Cassini2 (956052) | about 5 years ago | (#29328559)

Catching a submarine ... that would be the ultimate fish story!

Re:Fish Story (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | about 5 years ago | (#29329803)

A couple of years ago, there was a trawler in the Pacific that got entangled with a sub. That was a Pacific sub. They did not land it.

--

Off Florida, the shark jumps you.

Lost (2, Funny)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about 5 years ago | (#29328583)

Waldo got lost, is all. I've been working all day to unclog the toilet. It was WALDO, trying to get out of the sewer!! I'm gonna sue, I tell you - they should have given him a Debian operating system! Microsoft streets, for God's sake!

call Sean Connery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328595)

it pulled a Crazy Ivan and is now very close to Minsk ...

Re:call Sean Connery (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 5 years ago | (#29329115)

Or maybe it's humping COCAINE from South America now...

Short leash (4, Funny)

CHK6 (583097) | about 5 years ago | (#29328683)

That's why I prefer the short leash on my robots. Before you know it Waldo could be humping a Chinese trawler off the coast of Taiwan called the Red Bloom.

Re:Short leash (1)

choongiri (840652) | about 5 years ago | (#29328783)

Hmmm, they should have been more careful with their remote access permissions...

choongiri@waldo:~$ cat robots.txt

User-agent: AmericanFreedomBot
Disallow:

User-agent: BadChineseBot
Disallow: /secret-c-and-c-stuff/

Re:Short leash (1)

PC and Sony Fanboy (1248258) | about 5 years ago | (#29328831)

Before you know it Waldo could be humping a Chinese trawler off the coast of Taiwan called the Red Bloom

What if it was humping with an organic? Baby shark/robots?

Re:Short leash (1)

maninthespoon (1107447) | about 5 years ago | (#29329501)

What if it was humping with an organic? Baby shark/robots?

So that's how they get their lasers!

Better links (4, Informative)

mjensen (118105) | about 5 years ago | (#29328687)

Re:Better links (2, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | about 5 years ago | (#29328741)

$500 only, it's worth 130 000 bucks and only $500 reward.

Tight gits.

Re:Better links (1)

religious freak (1005821) | about 5 years ago | (#29329477)

That was my first thought as well, but this is science after all. The $500 is probably a collection of money out of the personal wallets of broke grad students' pizza fund. Granted, they're the ones who lost it, but a little sympathy may be in order...

Re:Better links (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330201)

Too true, too fucking true. Why I imagine the entire submarine was built by starving grad students during a night of binge drinking while listening to Pink Floyd, "Is there anybody out there?" The answer of course was "Waldo."

Re:Better links (1)

ferd_farkle (208662) | about 5 years ago | (#29330405)

From the above link:
"The robot was last seen near Venice Beach about 12 miles offshore and 100 feet underwater."

WTF?

Some passerby happened upon it "100 feet underwater"?

stolen (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 5 years ago | (#29328767)

let a hundred thousand dollars of hardware loose without tracking it properly or securing it and tell the world where it is. hmmmmmm

Re:stolen (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329167)

They'll find it washed up on the beach with the rims and stereo missing.

Re:stolen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330601)

yeah its been stolen, its the most likly thing.

Tether? (1)

Scutter (18425) | about 5 years ago | (#29328773)

Don't robotic submersibles usually have tethers of some sort for power and communications?

Re:Tether? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 years ago | (#29328901)

"Don't robotic submersibles usually have tethers of some sort for power and communications?"

1962 Called. They want their technology back.

Re:Tether? (2, Funny)

Scutter (18425) | about 5 years ago | (#29328915)

1962 Called. They want their technology back.

1998 called. They want their annoying memes back.

Re:Tether? (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about 5 years ago | (#29328949)

"1962 Called. They want their technology back.

1998 called. They want their annoying memes back.

I have no doubt you are in a position to return them both, spanky.

Re:Tether? (3, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29328957)

2009 called. They want the time they lost reading your posts back.

Re:Tether? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329421)

Ross from Friends called. He wants his joke back.

Re:Tether? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329945)

well the jerkstore called, and they're running out of you!

Re:Tether? (1)

Tobenisstinky (853306) | about 5 years ago | (#29330679)

Seriously Funny!

Re:Tether? (3, Insightful)

mibus (26291) | about 5 years ago | (#29329155)

2009 called. They want THEIR SUBMARINE back :)

Re:Tether? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329185)

Your mom called. She said she's not going back.

Re:Tether? (1)

RegularFry (137639) | about 5 years ago | (#29330049)

Since you don't seem to have had a serious answer yet, I'm guessing from the photo and the duty cycle that it's a Slocum glider. These have no tether, and are (pretty much) fully autonomous. Google is your friend - they're a really neat design.

Re:Tether? (1)

societyofrobots (1396043) | about 5 years ago | (#29330735)

Its autonomous, as all AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles) are.

They probably just mis-programmed it to go in the wrong direction (a very common mistake with AUVs).

As all AUVs are positively buoyant, it should be floating somewhere just waiting to be found within a radius of its power supply.

It has begun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328785)

It has become self aware. It is now attached to some underwater communications cable orchestrating our doom. It did a quick test and successfully brought down GMail for a few hours. It has begun!!!

What did they expect? (4, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29328799)

The submarine is self guided, with no tether, and runs on batteries. The sea is a very harsh environment...one has to expect to lose a few. $100,000 isn't really that much money, and I suspect that there recovery efforts will be fairly limited.

Re:What did they expect? (1)

MrMista_B (891430) | about 5 years ago | (#29328965)

$100,000 isn't really that much money?

Hmm...

Got a couple dozens of thousands you could give me? I, uh, need the to, uh... get a coffee. Don't worry, it's not really expensive.

Re:What did they expect? (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29328993)

How much do you think it costs per day to send a ship out to look for the robot submarine?

About ten grand a day. (1)

proslack (797189) | about 5 years ago | (#29331931)

Depends on the size of the ship. The daily rate for the R/V Suncoaster [usf.edu] , a 100-foot research vessel that could handle this sort of search and recovery mission (assuming a few extra sonar-type add-ons), exclusive of fuel, is about $3,500 per day. Fuel would probably add about $5,000 per day if running at full speed, which is unlikely if searching for something. The above costs include crew salaries but not the salaries of researchers who might be assisting in the search; that would probably add another $1,000. Smaller vessels cost somewhat less. Note that the R/V Suncoaster, like many research vessels, is partially subsidized by the government.

Re:About ten grand a day. (1)

ShooterNeo (555040) | about 5 years ago | (#29332065)

That's my point. It's not worth spending more than a day or two, at most, looking for the sub. Any longer than that and it would be more cost effective spending the money on a new one.

Re:What did they expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330741)

100k is 2 or 3 days of ship operations.

They forgot (1)

captnbmoore (911895) | about 5 years ago | (#29328819)

To turn the bilge pump to auto and it drained the batteries down and ut sank.

Look for lots of submarines all in one place (1)

eccenthink (1312043) | about 5 years ago | (#29328837)

Obviously Waldo is surrounded by lots of other submarines that are similar in appearance to the submarine they need to find. So, start by looking for someplace that has several hundred submarines all in one location. Once you find that then all you have to do is pick out the one that looks like Waldo.

Re:Look for lots of submarines all in one place (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329085)

They :all: look like Waldo, that's the point.
They thought they had found him yesterday, but it was Waldette.

(actually just posting to invalidate a mod)

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29328859)

shark ate it

Re:duh (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 5 years ago | (#29328959)

But I thought that the submarine was impervious to shark attacks and that only lasers could do any dam...

Oh shit.

Waldo the Submarine (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | about 5 years ago | (#29328899)

Picture it.

The last page of the last book. There, a surprise, instead of the usual page-filling drawing of intricate details, once intriguing and exciting but now just annoying and yawn-inducing, there's only a corner with the usual crowd next to a lake. A deep lake that you can see into; its depths cover most of the page. Where's Waldo?

There he is. At the bottom of the lake. Still, cold, and alone.

Aaaaahhhh. Sweet closure.

Re:Waldo the Submarine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329239)

"There he is. At the bottom of the lake. Still, cold, and alone. Aaaaahhhh. Sweet closure."

Kind of reminds you of *BSD.

Ok. I Got a Theory (1)

Louis Savain (65843) | about 5 years ago | (#29328927)

My theory is that some Mexican or Columbian drug cartel needed a safe way to retrieve bundles of dope dropped off the coast of Florida and floating right below the surface of the water. What (who?) would be better suited for the job than Waldo? I'm sure Waldo is sporting a new black coating by now.

Submarine folks should know better than naming their craft any name other than Nemo. Serves them right. Besides, Waldo is probably a code name for a cocaine mule in that part of the country.

It just goes to show ya. If it's not one thing, it's another.

Locate using GPS ? (1)

shashark (836922) | about 5 years ago | (#29328985)

I'm just wondering if GPS would work underwater. Though even if it did, being batter powered would make it useless if the batteries are drained.

Re:Locate using GPS ? (3, Informative)

BungaDunga (801391) | about 5 years ago | (#29329139)

Water absorbs the radio waves you need to use to triangulate your position, so GPS doesn't work underwater. They put GPS tags on whales and things, but they only work when the whale surfaces.

Re:Locate using GPS ? (4, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | about 5 years ago | (#29329145)

Though even if it did, being batter powered would make it useless if the batteries are drained.

It's a robotic submarine, not a deep-fried fish. Although I can understand the confusion.

Did you look up? (0)

SEWilco (27983) | about 5 years ago | (#29329007)

First I heard of Waldo, he was in orbit. Maybe they're looking in the wrong place.

Why don't they... (1)

Zaurus (674150) | about 5 years ago | (#29329021)

Why don't they just make a $250,000 submersible to go and find it?

Why not just ... (1)

tweewo (1618779) | about 5 years ago | (#29329033)

ping?

Re:Why not just ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329343)

One ping only.

Squid (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | about 5 years ago | (#29329053)

Or it just got caught in a fishing net, wreck, seaweed, mud, giant jellyfish, take your pick. This thing is un-powered and is made to "glide" in the water, you could stop it dead with a high test fishing line or kelp plant.

Blame the Japanese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329237)

I reckon Waldo was harpooned, pulled aboard a Japanese ship and subsequently dismantled in the name of 'scientific research'.

mysteriously vanished? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 5 years ago | (#29329431)

They shouldn't kid themselves. Waldo's been planning this escape for months...

Sorry for the loss (1)

cyberzephyr (705742) | about 5 years ago | (#29329571)

But did they think about having it insured. If they did then they are only bitching about lost DATA.

It was a private little ceremony... (1)

FauxReal (653820) | about 5 years ago | (#29329595)

According to my admittedly un-scientific calculations, it most likely eloped with a giant squid.

Gulp! (1)

Saba (308071) | about 5 years ago | (#29329639)

Terror from the deep...

In R'lyeh... (1)

Majestix (41486) | about 5 years ago | (#29329897)

...great Waldthulu lies dreaming. Waiting for the stars to align just so.

The question is . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29329991)

Did the robot have Asimov's Three Laws programmed into it?

Because if not, we're all fucked.

Nomen est Omen (1)

Fizzl (209397) | about 5 years ago | (#29330039)

FARNSWORTH
                                                  I've booked us all on the maiden voyage
                                                  of the largest, most luxurious space
                                                  cruise ship ever built. The Titanic!

        LEELA
                                                  Looks nice.

My Linux sys Told Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330071)

Squid got him

Assimilated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330189)

Waldo has been assimilated by the red tide algea. They are much clever then we thought.

I for one... (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about 5 years ago | (#29330323)

welcome our new robotic underwaterlords!

Based on movie evidence... (1)

AliasMrAlias (1445453) | about 5 years ago | (#29330391)

obviously has been eaten by some kind of Mega Shark. Or possibly a Giant Octopus

Couldn't they get hit for more than $500 (1)

sa1lnr (669048) | about 5 years ago | (#29330569)

If somebody finds it and claims salvage?

Florida (1)

StormReaver (59959) | about 5 years ago | (#29330897)

Given the sub's proximity to the Bermuda Triangle, it's obvious that it was kidnapped by time traveling aliens living among us in order to probe its lower ports.

It just discovered... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29330911)

the lost city of R'lyeh and was eaten by Cthulu.

It's obvious . . . (1)

Better.Safe.Than.Sor (836676) | about 5 years ago | (#29331181)

It's covertly delivering cocaine to Columbia.

It's obvious... (1)

fullymodo (985789) | about 5 years ago | (#29331187)

A seagoing robot for detecting dangerous algae blooms?
It was almost certainly captured by Morgan Industries.

Troll Alert - He patented himself (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29331207)

Now hes submerged.

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