Machine Design

Solar-powered submersible robot

Engineers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have built a 370-lb solar-powered underwater autonomous vehicle (SUAV) that can travel at 2 mph and reach depths of 1,500 ft beneath the surface of the water.

It's part of a National Science Foundation project called RiverNet that could lead to long-term monitoring of chemical and biological trends in water quality of rivers, lakes, and waterways. The U.S. Navy is also interested in using SUAV technology for coastal surveillance.

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