Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Robot Goes Missing, Everyone Makes Same Joke

An underwater robot nicknamed "Waldo" has gone missing off of the Gulf Coast of Florida, much to the dismay of Mote Marine Laboratory scientists. As can be expected, statements made about the hilarity of the subsequent search for Waldo have been abundant and predictable.
Thanks, Every News Station in Existence, we saw that coming.

After nearly a week of fruitless searching which enlisted the help of other robots (it's like Finding Nemo, but in the future), the scientists are turning to the public. Mote Laboratory is offering a $500 reward in hopes that Labor Day boaters will keep an eye out for Waldo.

Waldo costs about $100,000 and is carrying a red tide detector worth another $30,000, so finding it is important enough to bring scientists out in the public eye to abashedly ask for help.

Prior to disappearing, Waldo had spent five days reporting on conditions in the coastal waters of Florida. Every two hours Waldo sent communication back to the laboratory as it sought out traces of red tide, an ocean phenomenon that has yet to be fully understood. On Monday, August 31st Waldo suddenly went silent, and has been missing ever since.

May currently be aimlessly floating, stuck at the bottom of the sea, or in the back of a pick-up.

Mote scientist Gary Kirkpatrick, inventor of the red tide detector, explains that the robot may have sprung a leak, causing it to sink to the ocean floor. If Waldo only had a failure in the communication systems, it may still be floating around at the surface.

The press release also mentioned that Waldo may have been picked up by "an unsuspecting boater who didn't realize the device was a scientific instrument." The lab added that the reward is offered "No-Questions-Asked."

If the robot remains elusive, scientists will likely try to find a cane, a cup, or three protruding tongues before moving on to something more fun.

If you have knowledge of robot-Waldo's whereabouts, please contact Mote Marine Laboratory at (941) 388 4441 x271.

Read the full press release from Mote Marine Laboratory.

Update to story, Waldo found!!

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1 comment:

  1. The submarine, Waldo has been operational since 2005 to look for algae that produce noxious red tide, usually surfacing every two hours.

    It's the size and approximate weight of a Volkswagen Beetle.

    Where in the world is Waldo?