The Hercules is one of two remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, aboard the Nautilus, Bob Ballard’s exploration ship. (Institute for Exploration)
Explore the depths from your desktop

Bob Ballard, who discovered the Titanic in 1985, is a shipwreck-finding machine. Now you can watch his crew search for ancient wrecks through the eyes of the machines that do the real work.

This summer, as Ballard and his exploration ship Nautilus sail the Black and Mediterranean seas, armchair explorers can watch online at As a rotating crew of 100 scientists and educators search for Byzantine-era ships and sample ocean life, live video from two remotely operated vehicles — the classically named Hercules and Argus — will take viewers to the seafloor in real time. Outfitted with a high-speed data link, the Nautilus is the only exploration ship in the world bringing the public along for the ride.

Follow “Nautiluslive” on Facebook and Twitter to receive alerts when the crew is about to splash its ROVs, which are outfitted with high-definition cameras and robotic arms. And check the Web site for bios of the crew and video from past cruises.

But don’t expect to see any mention of Ballard’s most recent mission: Earlier this month, he and his crew helped the Turkish government find and recover the bodies of two Turkish fighter pilots shot down by Syria on June 22.

Brian Vastag