SARASOTA (FOX 13) - Mote Marine Laboratory 's newest underwater robot can travel down to depths of 700 feet and help predict red tide.
A simple ring of a bell signals a call via satellite from a robotic glider named "Genie."
"This is the 11:00 surfacing," said Dr. Jordon Beckler.
In an instant, Beckler begins viewing it's data.
"Right now it is at the surface. I am getting a status update," he said.
With the click of a mouse, the glider's results are posted online. The robot collects and analyzes samples of water, algae and phytoplankton in the water.
"With this glider, it is constantly traveling up and down through the water column on a set path sampling thousands of times," said Beckler.
Genie's newest mission is helping to track and monitor red tide blooms.
"We can look at very close connected times and a continuous time for a period of weeks," said Dr.Richard Pierce.
Pierce hopes to one day forecast when and where blooms will occur before they even start. Predicting where they will end up would be valuable information for beach communities that wind up in their path.
"We realize that in many instances, that the red tide actually starts off shore near the bottom. We are learning a lot of new information of where red tides begin," he said.
To view data from all of the robots operating in the Gulf of Mexico, click here.