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Images: Miles Under the Sea, Hanging on by Hair-Thin Fiber

Andy Bowen has been developing robotic deep-sea technology for many years, starting his career at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the 1980s by working on Jason Jr., the small tethered vehicle that explored Titanic. Heled efforts to develop a new vehicle called Nereus, which uses new technology in the cable that links it to a ship. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution )

The fiber cable that links Nereus to a surface ship is about the diameter of a human hair and has a breaking strength of only 8 pounds. Through the fiber, video signals and data from sensors are transmitted up from Nereus, and pilots aboard the ship send commands down to Nereus. (Photo by Tom Kleindinst, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The new deep-diving robot Nereus is tested at sea. (Photo by Robert Elder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)