Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
9 September 2009

Images related to the MBARI News Release
New robot travels across the seafloor to monitor the impact of climate change on deep-sea ecosystems

Note: These images may not be copied, reprinted, or used without explicit permission from MBARI or from the photographers. Members of the media needing higher-resolution versions should contact Kim Fulton-Bennett, kfb@mbari.org, 831-775-1835.

rover on seafloor
Image credit: (c) 2007 MBARI

The Benthic Rover makes its way across the deep seafloor during a trial run in 2007. The "brains" of the vehicle are protected by a spherical titanium pressure housing. The orange and yellow objects are made of incompressible foam, whose buoyancy makes the Rover light enough underwater so that it won't sink into the soft deep-sea mud.



Image credit: (c) 2009 MBARI

During July 2009, the Benthic Rover traveled across the seafloor while hooked up to the MARS ocean observatory. This allowed researchers to control the vehicle in "real time." The yellow cable on the right side of the image is a long "extension cord" that unspools as the Rover moves.



Image credit: (c) 2007 MBARI

The Benthic Rover on the seafloor off Central California



Image credit: Ken Smith (c) 2006 MBARI

This image of the Benthic Rover on the seafloor off Central California was taken through a view port on the research submarine Alvin



Image credit: (c) 2006 MBARI

This computer drawing shows some of the key components of the Benthic Rover.



Image credit: (c) 2009 MBARI

This computer drawing shows the Benthic Rover illuminating the seafloor with a blue light that causes chlorophyll to fluoresce. Such fluorescence can help scientists tell if blooms of microscopic marine algae have recently settled down onto the seafloor, where they may provide food for deep-sea organisms.



Image credit: (c) 2009 MBARI

The crew of MBARI's research vessel Point Lobos lower the Benthic Rover over the side of the ship and into the waters of Monterey Bay.



Image credit: (c) 2009 MBARI

This photograph, taken by the Benthic Rover, shows a typical patch of seafloor at a depth of about 900 meters off the coast of Monterey Bay. The animals in the photo include two different kinds of sea pens, snails, anemones, a hermit crab, and a rockfish.


Last updated: Sep. 09, 2009