First Atlantic Cross by a Submersible Robot

Track of the Scarlet Knight across the Atlantic She was at sea for 221 days. She was alone, often in dangerous places, and usually out of touch. Her predecessor had disappeared on a similar trip, probably killed by a shark. Yet she was always able to do what was asked, to head in a different direction on a moment’s notice and report back without complaint. So is it any surprise tears were shed when people could finally wrap their arms around her steel torso once more? “She was a hero,” said Rutgers University oceanographer Scott Glenn last week after retrieving an aquatic glider called the Scarlet Knight from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain. The 7-foot-9-inch submersible device, shaped like a large-winged torpedo, had just become the first robot to cross an ocean.

Scarlet Knight posing for a photo op

The Washington Post contains a nice write up about the first submersible robot to cross the Atlantic. More importantly, it collected data the whole way. You can read about the entire expedition on the Scarlet Knight Blog.

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.

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