‘Robo-mermaid’ able to reach depths too dangerous for human divers retrieves vase from wreck of Louis XIV’s flagship
Robotics scientists at the US’s Stanford University have achieved a remarkable first: they have successfully sent an automated avatar – which they describe as a robo-mermaid – down to an ancient shipwreck to retrieve a vase from the sunken vessel.
La Lune, the flagship of Louis XIV of France, sank 20 miles off the south coast city of Toulon in 1664. Only a few dozen of the hundreds of men on board survived. The wreck, which lies at a depth of 100 metres, had never been disturbed until the OceanOne robot craft reached it two weeks ago and recovered the grapefruit-size vase.