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Robotics Earth

Long-Running Underwater Robot Lost At Sea 132

this_boat_is_real writes "Somewhere off the coast of Chile a pioneering underwater robot named Abe lies in a watery grave today. The Autonomous Benthic Explorer was one of the first truly independent research submersibles, being both unmanned and un-tethered to its launching ship. While on its 222nd research dive on Friday all contact with the craft was lost, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has announced."
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Long-Running Underwater Robot Lost At Sea

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  • floaties? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Garganus ( 890454 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @02:08AM (#31470194)
    And nobody on the sub engineering team thought, "hey, maybe we should add a ballast balloon that floats it to the surface if it loses all contact with the surface." Wow.
  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Sunday March 14, 2010 @03:24AM (#31470496)
    After such an illustrious career shouldn't they use this as the basis of their next design only adding to it additional features that have been proven on more recent designs from other teams? I mean making all these one-off designs like all the underwater robots seem to be has to be the least efficient way to go from both a cash perspective as well as a getting science done perspective.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 14, 2010 @08:10AM (#31471408)

    Well there are many sad to see it go but it did a lot of great research. WHOI has a few more autonomous underwater robots - check out BTW since the design of ABE was shaped like the Enterprise from Star Trek it had a registration number of NCC-1701B on its side - WHOI engineers are Trekkies too. My company is a videography contractor for WHOI.

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