Transformers Into the Deep


From BBC News

If successful, Nereus will be the first autonomous vehicle to visit the 11,000m (36,089ft) Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean. Only two other vehicles have ever visited the spot before, both of them human operated. The $5m submarine will make the attempt in late May or early June after a series of increasingly deep dives.

Of course the really cool thing about Nereus is that is transformer.  Depending on the mission it can switch between an autonomous underwater vehicle (unteathered to the surface) to a remote operated vehicle (tethered) depending on the mission.

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.