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Atlantic Crossing:  A Robot's Daring Mission cover image

Atlantic Crossing: A Robot's Daring Mission 2011

Highly Recommended

Distributed by Green Planet Films, 21 Columbus Ave. Suite 205, San Francisco, CA 94111; 415-377-5471
Produced by Rutgers University Writers House
Directed by Dena Seidel
DVD , color, 57 min.; 75 min. version with special features

Sr. High – General Adult
Science, Storytelling, Technology

Date Entered: 12/21/2011

Reviewed by Brad Eden, Ph.D., Dean of Library Services, Valparaiso University

This documentary is devoted to the first autonomous robot to cross the Atlantic Ocean and those people who helped it to happen at the Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences. The robot, dubbed RU27 but affectionately called "Scarlet", was designed at Rutgers University by oceanographer Scott Glenn. The video shows footage of the treacherous journey, including Scarlet's battles with weather, ship traffic, and sea life. An interesting part of the film shows Scarlet being attacked by unknown ocean organisms that threaten the mission, and direct intervention by the scientific team to free her from this attack. Given that Scarlet has limited power and new hardware systems, this story is an amazing one, and the video has won over 10 film festival awards. Scarlet's objective is to show the possibilities for a future robotic oceanographic observation network capable of predicting and monitoring climate change events. Scarlet now resides in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C.