WHOI In Motion

A Gallery of Animation and Video
from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

ABE Animation

For a complete description, see the Marine Operations page about ABE.
  Roving Robot, Sleeping Beauty
(QuickTime animation, 2.6 MB)
Oceanographic instrumentation has become increasingly sophisticated over the years. New technologies allow investigators to collect data without being at the collection site, thus reducing some of the expense of research cruises. First deployed for ocean-science research in 1995, WHOI's Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) is a robot designed to monitor the deep ocean over long periods of time. At launch, ABE spirals to depth, anchors to a hitching post near the sea floor, and "goes to sleep" for a specified period. At programmed intervals, ABE "wakes up," lets go of the post, travels through the survey area, and gathers data using video cameras and sensors. ABE then returns to its hitching post, latches on, and goes back to sleep, conserving energy for future surveys. ABE can remain on station for many months, waking to gather data and redocking repeatedly before it is retrieved by the surface ship.

Copyright © 1996, 1997, 1998 Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

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