A tangle of tubes, cables, and actuators – Mebo looks as though it could morph at any moment into one of those Transformer robots from the movies.
The 10-tonne machine is in fact a seabed drilling system, and a very sophisticated one at that.
Deployed over the side of any large ship but driven remotely from onboard, it’s opening up new opportunities to take sediment samples from the ocean floor.
MeBo was developed at the MARUM research facility in Bremen, Germany, and has not long returned from a pathfinding expedition to the West Antarctic.
In the iceberg-infested waters of the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE), it obtained the very first cores to be drilled from just in front of some of the mightiest glaciers on Earth.