robots

Environment & Science
4:35 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Robots to spend winter under the ice in Lake Superior

Jay Austin (L) is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He and assistant scientist Matt James are shown here prepping the device, an "autonomous moored platform" for its test dive.
Brett Groehler, Director of Photography UMD

Researchers are sending robots where no scientist has gone before: under the ice in Lake Superior during winter.

This week, researchers from the University of Minnesota-Duluth put their first robot in Lake Superior to test it. Think of them as robotic divers... they travel up and down on cables and collect data. The cables will be anchored to the bottom of the lake.

Erik Brown is one of the lead researchers and the acting director of the Large Lakes Observatory at UMD.  He says the harsh winters on Lake Superior make it too dangerous for people to go out on ships and collect data.

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