Connecting Wally the Benthic Crawler
Welcome back to the seafloor, Wally!
Wally (they/them) is an internet-controlled benthic crawler controlled by researchers at Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. After spending almost a decade exploring methane gas hydrates fields in Barkley Canyon, off the coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, it was time for refit and maintenance of Wally. In 2021, that work was complete and it was time for Wally to be redeployed to explore and document the seafloor again. During the 2021 expedition with Ocean Networks Canada aboard E/V Nautilus, Wally was deployed with a long cable and plugged into ONC's NEPTUNE Observatory to continue their seafloor exploration. Wally was designed to study extreme environments in the deep sea, but has connections to outer space—modeled after a space rover, Wally is also named after Disney's animated space robot Wall-E. Learn more about Wally and their collected data at the Ocean Networks Canada website.
For 28 days, E/V Nautilus will provide support to Ocean Networks Canada’s (ONC) NEPTUNE observatory located off the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, within the traditional and modern territories of the Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish peoples. This deep-sea network reaches 250 kilometers off-shore and consists of an 800-kilometer loop of fiber optic cable connected to instruments that enable scientists to study continuous long-term observations not afforded by traditional ship-based ocean exploration.