Reports are coming in from the Kermadec Expedition that Nereus, the world’s first Hybrid AUV/ROV and deepest diving robot, has perished. The full-ocean capable robot, who dove to the bottom of Challenger Deep several year before James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenger, was lost on a 10,000 meter dive in the Kermadec Trench. Researchers and crew members were hopeful that the fail safes built into the robot would return it to the surface, but, when the small spheres that provided her buoyancy broke through the waves, it was clear that Nereus had been irrecoverably damaged, never to rise again.
Nereus joins ABE and Kaikō on the sea floor, permanently entombed in Davy Jones’ locker. There are now only two vehicles left in the world that can dive to the very bottom of the deepest ocean.
I sing the praise of my robot underlings, the workhorses of deep sea exploration.