Animation describing the Autonomous Benthic Explorer (ABE) vehicle. ABE was a fully autonomous vehicle used for survey of the deep seafloor for depths of 5000 meters. ABE produced bathymetric and magnetic maps of the seafloor and has been used to quantitatively survey hydrothermal vents. Most recently, ABE has been used to locate, map, and photograph deep sea vent sites based on clues provided by towed and lowered instruments. ABE has taken digital bottom photographs in a variety of deep sea terrains, including the first autonomous surveys in an active hydrothermal vent site. Animation courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.