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The hybrid remotely operated vehicle Nereus returned from the seafloor to the R/V Falkor in autonomous mode during the Oases 2013 cruise recently. Nereus is unique for the fact that it can operate either as a fully autonomous underwater robot or as a remotely operated vehicle controlled from the surface. On this cruise, researchers led by WHOI geochemist Chris German began by surveying hydrothermal vent fields on the Cayman Rise, then converted Nereus to remotely operated mode to conduct sample collection, as well as up-close investigation with cameras donated by explorer and director James Cameron. (Photo by Jill McDermott, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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