Published: May 19, 2010 10:39 AM EDT

GULF OF MEXICO - A robot is underwater this morning patrolling the shoreline collecting water samples for signs of the oil spill and chemicals used to disperse it. Scientists from Mote Marine Laboratories released the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle about 20 miles off the coast of Venice. It will travel about 80 to 100 miles west-southwest along the coast.

Two more AUV's will be released, one about 15 miles offshore between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harborr and a second around the Florida Keys.