What is the Autonomous underwater vehicle (Autosub)?
The Autosub is an experimental sea-going robot designed to collect data from the ocean. For some purposes, robotic vehicles provide a more efficient, cheaper, and safer means of collecting scientific data. Robotic vehicles provide a means to explore the ocean's vast area relatively quickly and inexpensively. Autosub can carry a number of different electronic sensors for measuring temperature, salinity, and other ocean properties. The route can be programmed into the Autosub's onboard navigational computer, and the vehicle can be launched from a ship or from land. In the future, whole fleets of robotic submarines could be used to gather data from all over the world's oceans, particularly from areas that would otherwise be too expensive or dangerous to study. Scientists could use these data directly, and to help them interpret the data collected from ships.