Nereus underwent a major conversion in the past few days – actually more than one, which proved to be a little ambitious. When you sawNereus last it was a deep diving, plume-sniffing, seafloor mapping and photo-surveying AUV.
Then, it went off in pursuit of Decepticons driving around the streets of Jamaica in Chevy Camaro form.
After being missing for a while it flew back in, in full Autobot form as “Bumblebee” making timely use of our helicopter deck before, remembering the pass-code, it snuck down the steps near the wet-lab while Casey was asleep and tip-toed back out onto the back deck while Casey was still sleeping.
We promptly set sail with Nereus converted into full ROV mode replete with all kinds of sampling gear for geology, fluid chemistry, biological sampling, microbial sampling and all kinds of plume-sensing and sampling capabilities.
I kinda knew there was more to Nereus than met the eye but its alter-ego (Casey tells me that “Bumblebee” is just its stage name) all became clear when I started doing a little more research on our yellow and black shape changing machine:
“He is the “little brother” of the Autobots, constantly striving to prove himself in the eyes of the other robots. This often causes him to take risks that put him in danger. Although a bit of a smart aleck (I’m not going to say ANYTHING about Casey’s empathy with Nereus here), he is a capable and reliable messenger able to go places that larger Autobots cannot (like the bottom of deep ocean trenches?). He is highly fuel-efficient, has great visual acuity (specially with those new cameras!), and is particularly adaptable to undersea environments.”
Haha! So those TV shows really WERE documentaries!!!
After all everything you read on the web is true, right children???