Children plunge to the depths using firm’s diving robot

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Nursery school for all three-year-olds

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EXCITED children scoured the seabed looking for crabs, fish and sunken ships.

Manipulating the controls of a diving robot they peered at a screen as the secrets of the deep were revealed.

Two pairs of brothers (l-r) Ben Magro (7), Ben Thimbleby (8),  Will Magro (6) Sam Thimbleby (7). and Steve Arnott technical sales from Saab Seaeye.  ''Visitors to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire taken to new depths when they came face to face with the diving robots, ROV's (remote operated vehicles), from Fareham based company, Saab Seaeye.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (132264-064)

Two pairs of brothers (l-r) Ben Magro (7), Ben Thimbleby (8), Will Magro (6) Sam Thimbleby (7). and Steve Arnott technical sales from Saab Seaeye. ''Visitors to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport, Hampshire taken to new depths when they came face to face with the diving robots, ROV's (remote operated vehicles), from Fareham based company, Saab Seaeye.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (132264-064)

Saab Seaeye had brought its Falcon robot to the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport at a fun day exploring maritime archaeology.

Seven-year-old Ben Magro, from Seafield Park Road, Hill Head, was with his brother Will, six.

Ben did not find any ships but spotted crabs when it was his turn to use the submersible. ‘It was not too scary, I’ve seen crabs before but I hadn’t controlled a remote control submarine like that,’ he said.

‘We had to press buttons and push a lever.

‘I’ve used remote control cars but not stuff in water.

‘It was hard, pushing the buttons ached my finger.

‘When we got to the bottom the sand all went in front of the camera so we couldn’t see.’

The two brothers were joined by mum Kate, 40, and friends, Ben Thimbleby, eight, Sam, seven, and their mum Jenny, 42, of Kiln Road, in Fareham.

All had also enjoyed touring round the museum’s World War Two-era submarine, HMS Alliance.

Ben said: ‘We did some of the activities upstairs and looked at the shop. We’ve been sending the robot underwater trying to find things.’

The Saab Seaeye Falcon was fitted with a gripping arm but can have a range of attachments and can plunge to 1,000ft under the surface.

It features a camera and LED lights, sending the images back in real time via its long umbilical cord.

The robot has a variety of uses, including surveying offshore wind farms, and oil and gas pipelines.

Other groups were at the museum teaching youngsters about maritime archaeology, including the Mary Rose Museum and Gosport’s Diving Museum.

Different activities are on tomorrow from 11am to 3pm.