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Where's Waldo? There He Is!

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 28 comments

Breathe easy everyone, Waldo is safe.

Owned by Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, Waldo, an autonomous underwater vehicle, had been patrolling the waters off Southwest Florida for five days looking for signs of red tide and sending signals to satellites every two hours between August 26 and 31. However, Mote staff lost track of the robot when it suddenly stopped sending signal.

Mote sent out a press release detailing just how important Waldo was and asked for help locating the device. They even offered a $500 no-questions-asked reward for its return. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like anyone will be collecting that reward as Waldo was able to inform Mote scientists of its location all by itself. Mote yesterday announced that the previously quiet robot had once again begun to transmit its position.

Mote staff didn't waste a minute before hopping in a boat and recovering the robot, called an autonomous underwater vehicle, or AUV for short. "We're thrilled to have Waldo back," said Dr. Gary Kirkpatrick, inventor of the payload the AUV carried to detect red tide. "It's our only AUV currently patrolling for red tide, and it's crucial for studying algae blooms."

Now that the $130,000 AUV has been found and picked up by the folks at Mote, the question on everyone's mind is, where the heck was Waldo? Um, about 50 feet from where they lost it. No joke.

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Top Comments
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2009 1:43 PM
    50 feet LOL
  • 20 Hide
    Montezuma , September 11, 2009 2:12 PM
    ...49 feet later..."Awwww, fuck!!! Waldo is lost! Sounds the alarm!"

    Peon ask, "Sir, why not search one more foot before letting people know we lost Waldo?"

    Boss replies, "You idiot, one does not simply move beyond 49 feet underwater! The earth is flat and you might fall off the end."
  • 13 Hide
    eyemaster , September 11, 2009 2:36 PM
    They lost track of it, it was not responding. Depending on the water conditions, it's nearly impossible to see 50 feet from you in the water, so if you're not looking in the right spot or looking directly at it, fat chance in finding it.
Other Comments
    Display all 28 comments.
  • 22 Hide
    Anonymous , September 11, 2009 1:43 PM
    50 feet LOL
  • 7 Hide
    Tedders , September 11, 2009 1:47 PM
    Haha. FAIL
  • -5 Hide
    crisisavatar , September 11, 2009 1:47 PM
    moricon50 feet LOL

  • 3 Hide
    amnotanoobie , September 11, 2009 1:47 PM
    How about Nemo and Carmen...
  • 2 Hide
    Ciuy , September 11, 2009 1:53 PM
    aliens
  • 20 Hide
    Montezuma , September 11, 2009 2:12 PM
    ...49 feet later..."Awwww, fuck!!! Waldo is lost! Sounds the alarm!"

    Peon ask, "Sir, why not search one more foot before letting people know we lost Waldo?"

    Boss replies, "You idiot, one does not simply move beyond 49 feet underwater! The earth is flat and you might fall off the end."
  • 2 Hide
    Andraxxus , September 11, 2009 2:16 PM
    Uh...50 feet. And these guys are supposed to analise complex data and give us a vision of the future?
  • 9 Hide
    igot1forya , September 11, 2009 2:36 PM
    Was it in the Bermuda Triangle?
  • 13 Hide
    eyemaster , September 11, 2009 2:36 PM
    They lost track of it, it was not responding. Depending on the water conditions, it's nearly impossible to see 50 feet from you in the water, so if you're not looking in the right spot or looking directly at it, fat chance in finding it.
  • 11 Hide
    hellwig , September 11, 2009 2:43 PM
    They should have installed a self-inflating buoy in case the computer stopped giving out a good signal (i.e. "yes I'm running" or "yes I'm communicating"). Might make it a little easier to see if it mysteriously shuts down again, especially if it decides to sink next time.
  • 3 Hide
    decepticon , September 11, 2009 2:45 PM
    hellwigThey should have installed a self-inflating buoy in case the computer stopped giving out a good signal (i.e. "yes I'm running" or "yes I'm communicating"). Might make it a little easier to see if it mysteriously shuts down again, especially if it decides to sink next time.


    That's a good idea! Seriously.
  • 4 Hide
    BillSplivins , September 11, 2009 2:53 PM
    Quote:
    Depending on the water conditions, it's nearly impossible to see 50 feet from you in the water
    Yeah but you would figure this boat would be equipped with a $200 sonar unit that can see a small fish @ 1000'
  • 0 Hide
    hardwarekid9756 , September 11, 2009 2:58 PM
    Science...

    It's srs biznss.
  • 3 Hide
    IXfearlessXI , September 11, 2009 3:46 PM
    Epic fail.
  • 1 Hide
    Titanius , September 11, 2009 4:10 PM
    montezuma...49 feet later..."Awwww, fuck!!! Waldo is lost! Sounds the alarm!"

    Peon ask, "Sir, why not search one more foot before letting people know we lost Waldo?"

    Boss replies, "You idiot, one does not simply move beyond 49 feet underwater! The earth is flat and you might fall off the end."


    That is EPIC WIN right there. Thanks for the TGIF laugh!
  • 1 Hide
    Major7up , September 11, 2009 4:18 PM
    Glad they found it but why didn't it signal sooner?
  • 2 Hide
    mlopinto2k1 , September 11, 2009 4:44 PM
    Uhh, how DEEP was it? If it is an UNDERWATER vehicle then I think it's safe to assume it wasn't floating on the surface. Geesh! Give these guys a break fellas! 50 feet over, 1 mile down? I bet YOU wont find it either!
  • 8 Hide
    megamanx00 , September 11, 2009 4:58 PM
    Great you found Waldo.

    Lets play again.
  • 1 Hide
    Boxa786 , September 11, 2009 5:13 PM
    This is what happens when scientists never leave the lab. 50 feet is like the other side of the world
  • 1 Hide
    p00dl3_h3r0 , September 11, 2009 6:22 PM
    Was a rope really out of the question? I mean, come on. This idea has been fool proof since the days of the greeks, and even helped some guy kill a minotaur. A MINOTAUR!
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