Today, the Silicon Valley startup is announcing a new line of Wave Glider robots propelled by waves and solar power. The Wave Glider SV3 is the world’s first unmanned ocean robot to use this kind of hybrid technology, according to an official statement from the company.
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Liquid Robotics gained a spot in history when
it announced in December that Papa Mau, one of its data-collecting
second-generation Wave Gliders, had floated more than 9,000 miles across the Pacific Ocean.
Wave Gliders can collect data on weather in remote locations. They
can be used to monitor hurricanes, predict tsunamis, and monitor rare
marine life. Wave Gliders collect data on temperature, winds, humidity,
wind gusts, water temperature, water color, and water composition. They
can also take pictures. These robots are gathering a lot of
observational data about climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries
management, hurricane and tsunami warnings, and exploration — but in a
The Wave Glider SV3 is at the intersection of two others: robotics and
renewable energy. Senior Navy officials are hot to create an undersea
robot that can last great distances, performing missions that range from
aquatic surveillance to mine destruction to submarine hunting.
Problem is, no engineer has figured out how to give the robots a
sufficiently long-lasting fuel source to power cross-oceanic transit — a
necessity, since the robot isn’t going to swim into port to refuel.
Which ties into another Navy necessity: immunizing its budget from the
fluctuations in fuel costs, especially as its efforts at using biofuels
ran into major congressional obstruction.
First introduced in 2009, Wave Gliders have since traveled more than 300,000 nautical miles, set a world record for longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle, and been deployed on more than 100 customer missions ranging from the Arctic and Australia, to the Canary Islands and Loch Ness.
The SV Series represents the next generation of Wave Glider technology and includes the Wave Glider SV2 with a compatible growth path to the high-end Wave Glider SV3. Customers can choose the Wave Glider that best fits their mission and budgetary requirements, or mix and match for complex operations.