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Underwater robots to help stem oil spill

Donald Melanson, @donmelanson
August 24, 2006
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Oil firm Petron is turning is turning to robots to try to keep a massive oil spill from getting any worse after a tanker carrying 53,000 gallons of the black gold sank off the coast of the island of Guimaras in the Philippines on August 11th. So far, the spill has affected some 40,000 nearby residents and damaged close to 200 miles of coastline, with the potential to spread even further. According to Petron, the sinking is also the deepest one in recent memory, making it impossible for divers to even inspect the vessel, hence the robots. As soon as they've pinpointed the exact location of the tanker, the salvage team will send down a remote-operated vehicle to asses the damage. If the ship is upright they'll just connect some lines and suck out rest of the oil inside; but things aren't so accessible, they'll use the robot to drill directly into the oil tanks and siphon it out the hard way. Hmm, forcing robots to clean up our dirty messes- this is something they definitely won't forget during the inevitable uprising.

[Via Robot Gossip]


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