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Autonomous Angels of Maintenance

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified Feb 28, 2012 01:05 AM
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by Geoff Manaugh ( last modified Feb 27, 2012



[Image: Undersea robots guard the internet; image via Wired UK].

In what appears to be a sponsored post, a short article published on Wired UK presents an interesting scene in which semi-autonomous robots protect undersea internet cables from harm—that is, "dexterous robots toil at the bottom of the sea to safeguard the web."

As the CEO of a company called Global Marine Systems explains, submarine cables "the width of a human hair" support 95% of the world's internet traffic. Thus, "to cope with the demand for cable repairs," the company has "invested in a number of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) at our facility in Portland, Dorset." They continue:
ROVs act like underwater robots, and are used to locate cable breaks on the seabed... and repair them. Once the ROV is lowered into the sea, a pilot on board one of our cable ships controls it to find the fault location and fix it.
The idea that little machine-guardians at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, like mechanical demiurges on the invisible edge of the world, are at least partially responsible for ensuring that this post can be read in Europe is a comforting thought before bed.




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