Deep sea robots will let us find millions of shipwrecks, says man who discovered Titanic

He is the famous deep-sea explorer that discovered the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, among other historical sunken vessels. According to Unesco estimates, Dr Robert Ballard has developed cutting-edge technology for autonomous underwater vehicles. This will revolutionise the search of more than three million shipwrecks scattered across ocean floors. Many of these will provide new insight into the life of those aboard at the time of the sinking, hundreds of thousands of years ago. They'll be found like mad, Ballard said to the Observer. This technology will allow for rapid discovery. Human history will be rewritten. In the past, all my archaeological work was done using vehicles that were attached to ships. These new vehicles are revolutionary, capable of working in extremely difficult and rugged terrains. A new class autonomous underwater vehicles with their own intelligence is being built and will revolutionise marine archaeology. These are even more remarkable because they allow marine archaeologists access the ocean floor without having to travel to sea. He recently conducted an expedition to Lake Huron in the USA and discovered an 1800s wreck. This was all from land. Ballard stated that I don't have to be on board my ship right now. There are no ships. But I came because I wanted to escape. This explorer has just turned 79 and is currently on his 158th expedition. He is conducting scientific explorations of the deep ocean in the Pacific. National Geographic publishes his memoir, Into the Deep. In it, he describes a passion for ocean exploration and how it was inspired by Nemo (the fictional captain of the submarine Nautilus) in Jules Vernes' classic novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. At 12 years old, he saw the Disney film adaptation. It was amazing. I wanted to play Captain Nemo. I wanted to walk on ocean floor. The exploration vessel Nautilus is now owned and operated by him. It is a state of the art ship designed for research in biology, oceanography, and archaeology. This can be followed online. He was a pioneer in deep-diving submersibles and is excited about the new technology because it is much more affordable to use. An affordable mobile system that can be used on smaller ships and from the shore is only a few thousand Pounds per day rather than tens or thousands. They can travel up to 2,000 feet and remain there for many days. They can also descend much faster to a wreck. Ballard stated that you can't reach the deepest bottom instantly as a diver. At about 100 metres per minute, you reach terminal velocity. It took me two hours to descend 4,000m to reach the Titanic. It would have taken less than an hour with these vehicles. With this technology, would I have discovered the Titanic sooner? Robert Ballard, Oh My God! The technology is now being used for marine research and environmental monitoring. However, the archaeological community has been slow to adopt it. He said that the technology started in the military like many of the advanced technologies. I was a US Navy officer for 30 years. I had access to technology that was classified. This slowly leaked out to the public. The social sciences are slow to adopt new technologies, as it is not their strength. Ballard dreamed for years of finding the Titanic's wreck. In 1985, I was assigned to a top-secret Navy assignment to investigate sunken nuclear submarines. When asked if he would have discovered it sooner using the latest technology, he replied: Oh, God, yes. He is one of the marine archaeologists and scientists, as well as geophysicists, involved in a new podcast series called Dive & Dig, hosted by Bettany Hughes, and funded by The Honor Frost Foundation.

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