These tiny robots are exploring history's most iconic shipwrecks

They were most recently used to examine the remains of the USS Arizona, which sank during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Underwater explorers no longer need to get their feet wet to uncover some of history's most notable shipwrecks. Oxygen tanks and flippers are being replaced by underwater robots. Sam Macdonald is the president of Deep Trekker, a Canadian company that makes underwater bots. Since Deep Trekker's creation in 2010, the company's robots have become a standard in the aquaculture industry, but, Macdonald says, that wasn't the original intent.

"One night I dropped a flashlight off my boat and I started thinking about having an underwater robot that we could do things with including retrieving lost items, but also for exploring all of these ship wrecks," Macdonald said.

Macdonald got the chance to fulfill her wish this summer, when one of Deep Trekker's customers invited her along on an expedition to explore the USS Arizona, 75 years after it was sunk during the attack on Pearl Harbor. With the robot's help, Macdonald and the team were able to explore portions of the ship that would have otherwise been inaccessible.

[Related: The best Japan Robot, gadget and car expo gallery]

“We took the ROV and went into the main main bomb hole, the bomb that they believe is responsible for the final sinking of the ship. We deployed the ROV into that hole, and witnessed firsthand some of the collapsed infrastructure," Macdonald said.

Joining the team was one of the six remaining survivors of the USS Arizona, who had a chance to get a live view of the admiral's cabin, a portion of the ship that had been off-limits to him.

Macdonald says the underwater bots have also been used to explore the HMS Erebus, one of the ships used by Sir John Franklin in 1845 when he set sail from England in search of a Northwest Passage across Canada's Arctic. According to oral testimony, the ship got stuck in the Arctic's thick ice and never made it to its final destination. Two years after the discovering the Erebus, explorers found the expedition's second ship: the HMS Terror. Macdonald says they will be exploring that ship this summer.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags robots

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Magdalena Petrova

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?