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Meet the WVU researcher training a swarm of robots to explore deep below oceanic ice

By Jack Walker, Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As glaciers across the Arctic and Antarctic continue to melt from rising global temperatures, the waters beneath them contain information crucial to understanding and addressing climate change.

That’s why Xi Yu, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, is taking the plunge into marine robotics.

Teaming up with researchers across the country, Yu received support from the National Science Foundation to spend the next three years developing a swarm of robots that can explore deep oceanic ice cavities inhospitable to current technology.

While the project will begin in less harsh, more accessible environments, the goal is to send a mothership that carries a crew of smaller robots into the polar ocean waters, Yu said. . . .

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