Robot Mermaid Explores Coral Reef Ocean Depths

A robot named OceanOne with artificial intelligence and haptic feedback systems enables human pilots unprecedented abilities for exploring the depths of the oceans. Oussama Khatib held his breath as he swam through the wreck of La Lune, over 300 feet below the Mediterranean. The flagship of King Louis XIV sank here in 1664, 20 miles off the southern coast of France, and no human had touched the ruins, or the countless treasures and artifacts the ship once carried, in the centuries since. [Read More]

Great Barrier Reef Now 50% Dead Or Dying

More bad news for one of Earth’s largest marine eco-systems. As unprecedented mass bleaching spreads across Australia’s coral reefs, more than half of the corals in many parts of the Great Barrier Reef are dead or dying. Corals consist of tiny animals, known as polyps, which have microscopic plants from the genus Symbiodinium, living inside their cells. The polyps are translucent, but the tiny plants (referred to as symbionts) inside them are brightly colored, and give healthy coral reefstheir robust hue. [Read More]

Europe's First Ultra-deep-sea Robot Glider Planned

An alliance of 19 partners from across Europe has been formed to develop Europe’s first ultra-deep-sea robot glider. The glider will be able to autonomously sample the ocean at depths of 5000m for up to three months at a time. This project, named BRIDGES, includes the National Oceanography Centre (NOC), and won €8M of funding from the European Union’s Horizon2020 programme to develop and test the new vehicle. New possibilities will be opened up for science and industry with the ability of this new glider to reach at least 75% of the ocean, for example, monitoring submarine biodiversity and conducting environmental impact assessments for potential sea bed mining and exploration. [Read More]