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Army of undersea robots at work on Gulf oil spill

Jun 24, 2010 11:32:00 PM - thestate.com
They're like Superman, but underwater: able to withstand 5,000 pounds of subsea pressure, lift up to a ton, take 3D video images and transfer hydraulic power to other equipment.

Submersible robots can do what no person ever could, and they're serving an important role in the fight to stop the oil gushing from the blown-out well in the Gulf of Mexico.

A subcity of underwater robots is busily working 5,000 feet below the surface to help contain the leak that has gushed millions of gallons of oil into the water since the Deepwater Horizon blew up April 20, killing 11 workers.

Anyone who has watched online video of the crude spewing from the seafloor has seen their work - the cameras that provide the feeds are attached to the robots as they maneuver around the spill site.

They also made news this week when one bumped into a cap that has been collecting some of the oil, forcing BP to remove it for about 10 hours and leaving the flow into the Gulf unchecked. But there's been only one other problem in two months, despite the robots' busy task.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)