The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has completed the first major mission of the Nereus Hybrid Remotely Operated Vehicle. What makes it a hybrid is the robot's ability to operate autonomously like an AUV when required. The Nerues became the third vessel in history to reach the extreme depths of the Mariana Trench and the only vessel to reach it since 1998 when it was visited by Japanese robot, Kaiko. When operating in ROV mode, the robot relies on a fiber optic cable so thin that 40 kilometers of it fits in two canisters the size of coffee cans. For more info, see the NSF news release, the WHOI Nereus slideshow, and the Nereus technical specifications. While designed primarily for scientific missions, it's easy to imagine an HROV like Nereus helping in the search for black boxes from Air France flight 447, which is already using the Nautile mini-sub and a Victor 6000 ROV.