Humanoid diving robot hunts for sunken treasure in French shipwreck

‘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.

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Are slow iPhone sales just a blip or is Apple starting to struggle?

The volatile market in China, the urgency for a new product, and slumping phone sales are combining to create serious problems for the tech company

Self-made billionaire investor Carl Icahn is known for his very vocal endorsements and criticisms of the world’s biggest public companies, including Apple. Yet when he appeared on CNBC on Thursday, he wasn’t there to demand the company give shareholders dividends, as he’d been doing for years.

Instead, he said he was out. Icahn said he’d dumped every share he held in Apple, claiming he made a $2bn profit and was done with the company, citing concerns about how the Chinese government could block the company from that market. “You worry a little bit, and maybe more than a little, about China’s attitude,” Icahn said, warning of a “tsunami” of trouble.

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