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Marine Scientists Team Up with Leopard
By Joanna Lentini, March 30, 2017 @ 03:00 PM (EST)
Source: Ocean News

Schoolchildren ready to launch an ROV they assembled during Sedna Expedition in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, are quite useful to marine scientists as they allow them to research and monitor inaccessible, and oftentimes extreme underwater environments. As advancements are made in underwater robotics, the range of duties they can tackle greatly increases. And the Leopard electric underwater robot by Saab Seaeye has caught the eye of some marine scientists. 

Able to reach depths of 3,000 meters (9,000 feet), the robot can withstand very strong currents and allows scientists to film in a straight line during periods of turbulence. Boasting 11 thrusters, the Leopard is the most powerful ROV of its size, yet is compact enough to fit on a small research vessel. Researchers in Japan are currently using the Leopard to monitor tsunamis. With an installation of 45km of sensors and transponders the robot has helped implement an early warning system for such natural events. 

Furthermore, at underwater mineral extraction sites in Japan, the Leopard has begun investigating the biodiversity that surrounds hydrothermal vent activity. By doing so, scientists hope to learn more and safeguard the interconnecting ecosystems of such sites. 

Read more here.



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