Could you tie your shoe with two of these as fingers?


Amazing as the abilities of the JASON are, the “hands and fingers” are not as adept as human hands (however they are much much stronger!). Before equipment goes down to the ocean floor, it has to be secured so it doesn’t come out and so that the JASON arm can release the ties. Here JASON pilot, Dara, and scientist, Andy, check the ties.


They tie the instruments with bungee cords (blue) with rope loops attached (yellow). The JASON “hand” grabs the yellow rope and, with a skillful pilot at the helm, is able to not only unfasten and refasten delicate instruments but also can align small cylinders and place them into small holes. If you look carefully, you can see zip ties are also very handy for securing knots and connections.


Hello there!

Is there some sort of sensor that notifies you when JASON has picked something up?
-Shannon Har

Hi Shannon, there are two

Hi Shannon,
there are two ways we know if Jason has picked up something. First, through the cameras. Secondly, the pilot can feel the resistance in his control stick (I think) or he can sense the change in the weight and balance on Jason which affects how he controls moving Jason. For example, if he picks up something very heavy with one of the arms, it will cause that part to pull down and the pilot has to compensate by redirecting JASON. I even asked the pilot question a few days ago! good thinking Shannon! Why couldn't he use an electrical sensor to know if he had contacted a metal object?

What enables the JASON to

What enables the JASON to think on its own? Or is it all electrical?
Mary Gi

JASON is a great robot, but

JASON is a great robot, but thinking on his own is a bit beyond him. There are many automatic controls that may make it seem like he is "thinking" I suspect. All his actions are manmade electronic circuits. He gets electricity from a second object that is launched with him, called Medea. This object takes electricity from the ship through the 1 1/2 mile tethered wire and makes it available to run JASON, kind of like a great big battery. Thanks for writing.

Keyanna Jo.

Does the Jason require a lot of equipment to make this experience run smoothly?

Yes, tons of equipment,

Yes, tons of equipment, literally. There were at least 4 vans the size of medium sized U-haul truck back sections, that were lifted onto the ship and maybe more that were just for JASON. I don't know what kind of "box" JASON and MEDEA came in. He must be a very important "Hollywood star" to command such a company of "travel luggage"!


Hello Mrs. Kane! Right now I'm in New York City at the American Natural History Museum at the Milstein Ocean Life exhibit and I automatically thought of you! I was wondering whatmaterials were used to make the JASON "hands"? Were any steps taken to ensure there would be no water damage? Hope you're having a great summer!

I believe they are made out

I believe they are made out of titanium so they are very strong and non reactive in sea water. We are on our last day, headed back to port. Everyone is busy package and rushing around to finish things. Thanks for writing!

Hi Mrs. Kane!

Is there some sort of camera attached so that Jason's actions can be recorded and watched from the boat?

Yes, lots of cameras

Yes, lots of cameras everywhere. The cameras are our eyes down there and we need to see in all different directions. The cameras are attached to JASON's main body. thanks for writing Lauren!

Can it really?

Hi Mrs. Kane! You headed the title "Could you tie your shoe with two of these as fingers?" Well, can the JASON really tie shoes? Also, it looks like the two prongs ("fingers") on each "hand" of the JASON are far apart. I realize they can move back and forth but can they move side to side?


Hi Kara, I meant to imply

Hi Kara, I meant to imply that it would be very difficult to use those two opposing appendages to tie a shoe even if you had one on each hand Beside the "fingers" being very strong and besides the high skill of the pilots, the "fingers" here are fairly crude compared to human hands. So, it is even more difficult for the pilot to perform simple tasks because he only has these as hands. It is amazing what they can do with them. I have watched! Thanks for writing!

Cassidy Cr

Mrs. Kane,

How did Dara learn to pilot Jason? Also can I am wrestle Jason? The last question was a joke because I am pretty sure I would get my arm taken off. And this is the second time I have seen zip ties in the blogs, are they a major hit on the boat?

I'll ask him next time I see

I'll ask him next time I see him. One of those "fingers claws" have a grip of 1000 lbs, be careful. I do think these little things called zip ties are a major hit. My roommate even uses one for a hair tie! They can be dangerous because they don't come undone so I don't think they are play toys. Thanks for writing.


You said that the JASON is very strong, so do they use it for other purposes other than releasing the ties?

Sara Beth Co

Hi Sara Beth! Yes, some of

Hi Sara Beth! Yes, some of the tasks require much strength. Sometimes they have to grab hold of rusty parts and unscrew them apart; sometimes they have to hold onto and lift very heavy objects. I'm sure they could break apart things too if needed. I believe one of the grips of the arms can squeeze with 1000 lbs of force! Thanks for writing.