How the Navy of the Future Will Find—And Destroy—Underwater Mines

You don't joke about mining important maritime trade routes—Iran did and nearly started WWIII. And while America's fleet of MH-53E Sea Dragons and Avenger-class mine countermeasures ships are still quite effective, they're getting really, really old. Both platforms entered service in the mid-1980s and are quickly… » 5/30/13 3:08pm 5/30/13 3:08pm

NASA's Student-Designed Explorer Launches Today

Whether you think it's our fault or not, the simple fact of the matter is that the Earth is heating up—so much so that last summer's heat caused surface melting along an unprecedented 97 percent of the Greenland ice sheet. Now, researchers are turning to an ever-ready solar rover to survey the damage. » 5/03/13 11:30am 5/03/13 11:30am

This Grizzly Won't Eat You So Much as Carry Your Luggage

It's a long hike through difficult terrain out to your favorite hunting blind—a trek made worse when you have to lug the season's equipment and supplies along. But with this autonomous ATV from Cleartrail, you'll barely have to lift a trigger finger. » 3/29/13 12:20pm 3/29/13 12:20pm

This Automated Land Mine Hunter Finds Its Explosive Quarry by Flailing…

Afghan roads routinely used by American forces are popular targets for IED mining—so much so that demining patrols have become routine. But what to do when an IED is discovered? Sure, you could send in an EOD officer to carefully (and slowly) defuse that IED at great risk to his life—hello, Hurt Locker!—or you could… » 12/20/12 1:20pm 12/20/12 1:20pm

How a Classic Deep Sea Robot will Sweep 98 Percent of the Ocean Floor

Over the course of 4,400 dives, Alvin has done just about everything. Its recovered lost nukes, explored the ruins of the HMS Titanic, and upturned our understanding of the deep sea with the discovery of hydrothermal vents bustling with unimaginable forms of life. But after 48 years of service, the venerable ROV is… » 9/17/12 11:30am 9/17/12 11:30am

Robot Sub Surveys Radioactive Ponds So You Don't Have To

Superfund cleanup sites are not places you really want to hang around. So how does one survey a radioactive fuel storage pond without taking a dip? Send in a radiation-resistant ROV, of course. » 4/18/12 11:30am 4/18/12 11:30am

This Football-Sized Robot Sub Handles Law Enforcement's Underwater Beat

From inspecting cargo ships in NYC Harbor to searching for missing persons in South Texas, law enforcement is increasingly supplementing its human divers with these football-sized remote submersibles. » 4/03/12 12:40pm 4/03/12 12:40pm

UT-1 Trencher Lays the Fattest Pipe in the Deepest Places

The world record for deepest dive using Scuba gear stands at 330m. Impressive, but when laying transatlanic telecommunication lines 2000m down, leave the humans on the surface and send in an ROV Trencher. » 6/16/11 11:30am 6/16/11 11:30am

An Eerie Peek Inside the Remains of the Titanic

You've seen the sonar image of the Titanic's remains. Now, the video: here's an eerie peek inside the debris of the most famous ship in history, shot by Expedition Titanic's new underwater remotely operated vehicle. Watch the chilling footage inside. » 8/31/10 5:00am 8/31/10 5:00am

Hunt for Titanic Was Cover for Secret Sunken Nuke Sub Dives

According to newly declassified info and the lead scientist himself, Dr. Bob Ballard, the successful search for the Titanic wreck was actually part of a secret hunt for two sunken cold war American nuclear submarines. The USS Thresher and USS Scorpion had both foundered in the 1960s, and the Navy needed to know what… » 5/26/08 1:00pm 5/26/08 1:00pm

How To Fix a Mysteriously Ruptured Undersea Cable

Not a week after two massive undersea telecom cables were snapped—according to BBC News, most likely due not to Godzilla but a single tanker "dragging its anchor along the sea bed"—and the repairs are well underway. But how in the hell do you repair a nine-layer steel-reinforced cable located deep beneath the surface… » 2/06/08 10:10am 2/06/08 10:10am