Roland Piquepaille writes, "After several years of research, engineers from the University of Hawaii are now testing the first autonomous robotic vehicle for deep-ocean work in the U.S. This robot is called SAUVIM, short for Semi-Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Intervention Missions. It's roughly the size of an SUV and it is designed to operate to a depth of about 4 miles. With its computers, its sensors, and a 5-foot, 150-pound autonomous manipulator, or robotic arm, it will be able to move towards a specific target, such as a wrecked pipe laying on the ocean floor -- and maybe fix it. Right now, this robot has an autonomy of about eight hours, but this range should soon be extended when the researchers move from batteries to fuel cells to power the undersea vehicle." For more, see Roland's blog entry or the Autonomous Systems Laboratory site at the University of Hawaii.