Cave Diving Robots Map Underwater Caves & Aquifers
Scientists from SwRI (Southwest Research Institute) have developed a neutrally buoyant sensor (cave diving robot) that can be used to map and explore underwater caves. The device is able to collect data on a cave as it drifts through it, recording information such as water temperature, velocity, most importantly, it can create a 3D map of the cave.
This new technology will be able to produce accurate representations of caves much quicker and in more remote locations than cave divers can access, this will allow much safer and cheaper cave exploration in the future. They have been specifically engineered using off the shelf components to make them affordable enough to loose. Even better is that they send information back to a receiver so that if they are lost, the data is remains intact.
New technology like this is proof that groundwater becoming a more and more important resource that needs to be understood. For more information on these neutrally buoyant robots have a look at the following PDF entitled Groundwater Voyager.
Underwater cave-mapping sensor [Karst Worlds]