Robotic Arm Collects Samples From an Active Greek Volcano - 18/01/2020


A hybrid remotely operated vehicle took the first known automated sample performed by a robotic arm in the seabed of the Greek island of Santorini. The vehicle, developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), explored Kolumbo volcano, an active submarine volcano off the famed island.

Toss Out the Joystick

“For a vehicle to take a sample without a pilot driving it was a huge step forward,” says Rich Camilli, an associate scientist at WHOI leading the development of automation technology as part of NASA’s Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR) interdisciplinary research programme. “One of our goals was to toss out the joystick, and we were able to do just that.”

The hybrid remotely operated vehicle, developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The hybrid remotely operated vehicle, developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Explore Without Human Intervention

Camilli was part of an international team of researchers on an expedition aimed at learning about life in the harsh, chemical-laden environment of Kolumbo, and at exploring the extent to which scientists can hand over the controls to ocean robots and allow them to explore without human intervention.

Read the full story on www.whoi.edu (photos courtesy WHOI).

Last updated: 28/01/2020