April 26, 2007

Need a water sample? Send out the robot

larry-gulper-100In the near future, when MBARI scientists want to collect a sample of seawater, they won’t have to go out in a boat—they’ll just send out a robot submarine. Over the past month, MBARI researchers have been testing a new autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) that can be sent out to collect seawater samples on its own, virtually anywhere in Monterey Bay. MBARI engineers have been working on this device, known as the “gulper,” for over two years. The gulper can collect up to ten separate water samples of 2 liters (about 2 quarts) each. After the seawater is returned to shore, scientists can analyze its chemistry, look at it under the microscope, or run DNA analyses to determine what types of microscopic organisms it contains.

For additional information or images relating to this article, please contact: Kim Fulton-Bennett
831-775-1835, kfb@mbari.org