Deep-ocean diving robot Nereus is gone and won’t be replaced

According to Nature, the WHOI scientists originally wanted to build a successor to their lost creation, but they ultimately decided to invest the $3 million insurance payout in “less risky projects.” Instead of replicating Nereus’ capabilities, the team now plans to build landers and improve the institute’s other undersea vehicles that can’t dive as far down. Don’t worry, though: there are other organizations currently developing vehicles that will be able bring us otherworldly footage and specimen samples straight from the deepest trenches of the ocean.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute is planning to build a series of submarines that could lead to one capable of diving as deep as the Nereus could by 2019. And then there’s the Shanghai Ocean University in China, which aims to build three landers, an ROV and a human-occupied vehicle, all for the sake of exploring hadal zone.

[Image credit: Advanced Imaging and Visualization Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution/Chris German, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution]

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