Did you know that 70% of the world is covered in water? We don’t really know what’s at the bottom of the ocean for the most part, because it's so deep that it's dangerous for humans to go that far down, even with submarines. Plus, there's a lot of coral reefs around the world, places where many fish and other creatures make their home, and the reefs are important to keeping the whole Earth healthy. Scientists want to find out what in the ocean, as well as make sure the reefs are doing okay.
So to help accomplish these goals, some professors and students from Stanford University in California and researchers from Saudi Arabia built a robot to help explore the deep waters and check up on the reefs. It's called the "OceanOne". But there's something special about this new robot. Unlike many that have been invented, it’s not built like a box. OceanOne looks like a mermaid! It’s got a head, two arms, and then it’s body looks like a long tail. Sometimes the robot is going to have to get around in tight spaces, and this shape helps it make through there easier than most water robots. It's long body also has plenty of space for scientific equipment, batteries, and cameras to observe the ocean around it.
OceanOne is called a "Remotely Operated Vehicle." Basically, that means it's controlled by a person using a remote control to make the bot swim around the ocean, pick up objects, and generally do scientific research. Think like a remote control race car, but instead of driving it around your driveway, you're on a boat exploring the ocean!
While OceanOne was built partially to explore coral reefs, it’s first mission was to explore a French king’s sunken ship from 400 years ago! It found an expensive vase, still in perfect condition, and brought it back up to the surface. How cool is that!
Source: Dogo News and Standford News Service.