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IPFS News Link • Robots and Artificial Intelligence

Brave Robots Are Roaming the Oceans for Science


That speck of color some 800 feet from the research vessel Paragon is part of an advanced seagoing robot, a drone, and the wing contains its antenna—which is talking to a satellite, which is talking to our skipper's cell phone.

Once we're alongside the machine, a scientist stretches to snag a loop on the 100-pound robot with a hooked pole, then starts hefting the drone up. Another researcher grabs halfway down the body, and together the two men lug the drone aboard and gingerly place it on a stand. It's 6 feet long and shaped like an airliner, with two wings and a tail fin, and bears the message "OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTRUMENT PLEASE DO NOT DISTURB." All caps considered, though, it's a more innocuous epigram than the one on a drone I saw back at the dock: "Not a weapon—Science Instrument."