WHOI underwater robot takes first-known automated sample from ocean
WHOI's robot, Nereid Under Ice (NUI), samples a patch of sediment from the mineral-rich floor of Kolumbo volcano off Santorini Island, Greece. This is the first known automated sample taken by a robot in the ocean.
"For a vehicle to take a sample without a pilot driving it was a huge step forward," says Rich Camilli Slightly smaller than a Smart Car, NUI was equipped with Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based automated planning software—including a planner named "Spock'—that enabled the ROV to decide which sites to visit in the volcano and take samples autonomously.
This could be the way to explore ocean worlds like Europa and Enceladus. "We can eventually see having a network of cognitive ocean robots where there's a shared intelligence spanning an entire fleet, with each vehicle working cooperatively like bees in a hive," Camilli says. "It will go well beyond losing the joystick."