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HROV Nereus

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Look under a virtual ocean to see how researchers use Nereus. First, as a free-swimming, or autonomous underwater vehicle, Nereus surveys and maps broad areas of the seafloor. Then it returns to the ship, where stored data are downloaded and examined. If scientists see interesting areas they want to explore in more detail, they can convert Nereus into a tethered, or remotely operated vehicle and send it back down. Human pilots aboard ship can command and control Nereus via a fiber-optic cable to pick up samples or conduct experiments with a robotic arm. (Animation by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)