The ABE autonomous underwater vehicle (free-swimming robot) about to be set loose to explore the bottom of the SW Indian Ocean from aboard the Chinese research ship RV Da Yang Yi Hao in Spring 2007.� Over the past 5 years, ABE (full name: Autonomous Benthic Explorer) has been used on multiple expeditions to find new hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean all over the world, from New Zealand to South Africa and from Brazil to Ecuador.

The autonomous benthic explorer (ABE) a free-swimming robot. In this image, ABE is about to be set loose to explore the bottom of the SW Indian Ocean from aboard the Chinese research ship Da Yang Yi Hao in 2007. Over the past five years, ABE has been used on multiple expeditions to find new hydrothermal vents in the deep ocean all over the world, from New Zealand to South Africa and Brazil to Ecuador. Photo courtesy of Christopher German.

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