"Today is about sharing MBARI's research and excitement of what we do with the rest of the world," said
The event drew thousands from
As far as what it was used for, the machine can dive to depths of 4,375 yards , he said. A camera installed on the vehicle is used to conduct research, perform experiments and even capture video of sea creatures.
"There's a lot of skill required to follow creatures that might be the size of your thumbnail," he said.
One man asked Erwin how long the tether that attached the ROV to the ship. The answer: nearly 5,470 yards. Erwin also explained that the ROV was also engineered to float to the surface if it ever lost power.
One of the most impressive things to him was that the institute's machine shop built its own tools and parts for each machine.
Asked what was the most interesting thing he learned, Becker replied, "I don't know if I'm done learning yet."
The institute also offered visitors a chance to build their own ROVs out of PVC pipe, foam and propellers. They tested their creations inside pools set up nearby.
In the hour since they arrived, Shannon said the highlight was seeing a whale.
"I really love fish," she said.
As far as the visit, Shannon summed it up in a few words: "I'm so glad my mom took me here."
(c)2014 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.)
Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services