Underwater Vehicles


Underwater robots swarm the ocean

Robot Swarm

Researchers test a new, acoustic-based navigation system to solve a problem that oceanographers have grappled with for years—getting multiple underwater robots to monitor the ocean cooperatively in swarm-like fashion.

Read More

Mesobot: Following life in the Twilight Zone

Mesobot is a brand new underwater vehicle designed to reveal what lives in the ocean’s twilight zone. Mesobot can follow animals as they move through the darkness and as they migrate from the depths to the surface and back. The twilight zone is vast and remote, but is threatened by unregulated fishing and climate change. We need Mesobot’s insights to understand and protect the twilight zone before humans change it forever.

Read More

A new way of “seeing” offshore wind power cables

Eager to share best practices and technical know-how with the offshore wind sector, WHOI researchers test out an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUVs)—a staple of oceanographic research—to see if it can perform subsea cable surveys faster and more economically than using large and expensive ships.

Read More

SharkCam

SharkCam

SharkCam, a customized REMUS robot, follows and films a great white shark by tracking acoustic signals sent from a tag…

Read More

Sitting atop a legend

HOV Alvin pilot Valentine Wilson sits atop the research submarine in 1966, shown here in its first incarnation. After Wilson…

Read More

Imagining new vehicles for exploration

Andy Bowen

Andy Bowen is the kind of guy who wakes up in the middle of the night unable to go back to sleep, because he’s just too excited about a solution he’s just imagined for a new robotic invention.

Read More

Splash in the Dark

HOV Alvin

The human-occupied submersible Alvin isn’t often recovered after dark—usually it’s on deck in time for dinner, even though the sub…

Read More

WHOI to be Featured in Upcoming BBC Program ‘Blue Planet Live’

WHOI to be Featured in Upcoming BBC Program 'Blue Planet Live'

Scientists, engineers, vehicle operators, and ship crew from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will be a featured part of the upcoming BBC program, Blue Planet Live, which will air over four nights beginning March 24. The series will include two live broadcasts from the research vessel Atlantis showing launch and recovery of the human-occupied submersible Alvin.

Read More

Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

Mesobot, Follow that Jellyfish!

WHO scientists and engineers are developing an innovative autonomous deep-sea vehicle with hovering and manuevering capabilities that will allow it to follow animals without disturbing their environment and behavior.

Read More

Underwater Vehicles

In order to understand the ocean, scientists often find they have to get themselves or their instruments into very specific…

Read More

Coding Curiosity

Coding Curiosity

The ocean is an extreme environment that is hard for humans to explore. One solution is building deep-sea robots that can autonomously make decisions on what to look for and where.

Read More

Alvin Submersible Makes 5,000th Dive

Alvin Submersible Makes 5,000th Dive

Alvin, the country’s only deep-diving research submersible capable of carrying humans to the sea floor, reached another milestone in its long career on Nov. 26, 2018, when the sub made its 5,000th dive during an expedition to the Guaymas Basin in the Gulf of California.

Read More

Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

Sentry Completes Its 500th Dive

WHOI’s free-swimming robot Sentry completed its 500th dive on October 16, 2018, off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The autonomous underwater vehicle has used its sonar systems to help scientists map the seafloor, track the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, locate the voyage data recorder on the sunken El Faro cargo ship, and carry out advanced research on many other missions to help us better understand our ocean and our planet.

Read More

New Details on Discovery of San Jose Shipwreck

New Details on Discovery of San Jose Shipwreck

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) recently obtained authorization by Maritime Archaeology Consultants, Switzerland AG (MAC), and the Colombian government to release new details from the successful search for the three-century old San José 62-gun, three-masted Spanish galleon ship that sank with a cargo believed to be worth billions of dollars. The ship, which is often called the ‘œholy grail of shipwrecks,’ went down with a treasure of gold, silver, and emeralds in 1708 during a battle with British ships in the War of Spanish Succession.

Read More

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

Mission to the Ocean Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is a part of the ocean 660 to 3,300 feet below the surface, where little sunlight can reach. It is deep and dark and cold, and the pressures there are enormous. Despite these challenging conditions, the twilight zone teems with life that helps support the ocean’s food web and is intertwined with Earth’s climate. Some countries are gearing up to exploit twilight zone fisheries, with unknown impacts for marine ecosystems and global climate. Scientists and engineers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are poised to explore and investigate this hidden frontier.

Read More