The CSIRO is spearheading underwater research with awesome inventions like the Starbug: an autonomous, unmanned submarine that trundles around the ocean blue feeding data back to scientists on a nearby boat. It’s essentially an underwater laboratory that records almost everything about the oceanic environment around it. The only problem is that the CSIRO scientists just lost one at the bottom of the ocean.
CSIRO took to its Facebook page today to ask its followers to keep an eye out for the yellow submarine known as Starbug:
Help! We lost a robot. This Starbug was last seen off Queensland’s Moreton Island last weekend. It resembles a small yellow submarine and measures 2 x 1.5 metres. Have you seen it? We’re hoping it may wash ashore or turn up in a fisherman’s net. The Starbug had completed its mission and shut down, but before it could be hooked up to the recovery vessel something went wrong and it suddenly dived out of sight. It was last seen at Amity Banks in Moreton Bay, we will keep you posted with more details as we receive them.
You can read that one of two ways: the CSIRO lost the Starbug, or it escaped.
Inside the autonomous yellow sub, the CSIRO installed swathes of scientific tech to gather data, including two stereo cameras, an inertial measurement unit, GPS unit (which only works on the surface), robotic arms and water sampling gear.
That would have been a really awkward phone call to make. Have you seen CSIRO’s sub?
Thanks to Alex for sending this over! [CSIRO]