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Mesobot


Underwater robot tracks ocean creatures

An innovative underwater robot known as Mesobot is providing researchers with deeper insight into the vast mid-ocean region known as the “twilight zone.” Capable of tracking and recording high-resolution images of slow-moving and fragile zooplankton, gelatinous animals, and particles, Mesobot greatly expands scientists’ ability to observe creatures in their mesopelagic habitat with minimal disturbance. This advance in engineering will enable a greater understanding of the role these creatures play in transporting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to the deep sea, as well as how commercial exploitation of twilight zone fisheries might affect the marine ecosystem.

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Exploring Deepwater Ecosystems with eDNA

Between September 23-27, 2019, a team of ocean scientists and engineers from WHOI and Lehigh University used NOAA research vessel Manta and the newly developed autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Mesobot to collect environmental DNA (eDNA) in order to explore the biodiversity of deepwater ecosystems near Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.

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360˚ Video: Deploying Mesobot

You’re on deck as the stealthy underwater robot Mesobot makes another trip into the ocean twilight zone to test equipment that will help scientists track bits of “environmental DNA” floating in the water.

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