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CEOE oceanographers recover underwater robot

March 20, 2014--Seafaring robots can explore expanses of the ocean where data collection might otherwise prove costly, time-consuming and dangerous. Like any intrepid explorer, however, they can lose their way.

Scientists in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE) recently demonstrated their search and recovery prowess when an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) went missing in the Cayman Islands.

The equipment hid wedged along a submerged limestone wall for four days until they were able to use another robot — fittingly enough — to pull it up to the surface.

“Especially with uncharted areas, you never know exactly what you are going to run into,” said Hunter Brown, CEOE’s advanced underwater systems manager. “It’s an operational hazard.”