Wave-Powered Robot Completes 9,000-Mile Ocean Trek

Posted: December 6, 2012  |  By: Jaymi Heimbuch [treehugger]

Last November, Liquid Robotics let loose four Wave Gliders in the Pacific ocean. The autonomous robots — outfitted with sensors that measure and collect information on a variety of substances, from oil spills to salinity levels to weather information — are wave-powered, using the rolling motion of the water to propel forward. It's a slow, slow journey traveling at about 1.5 knots, but one Wave Glider, named "Papa Mau", has completed the 9,000 nautical mile trip across the Pacific, leaving a world record for longest autonomous trip in its wake.

A press release from Liquid Robotics states, "During Papa Mau’s journey, he weathered gale-force storms, fended off sharks, spent more than 365 days at sea, skirted around the Great Barrier Reef, and finally battled and surfed the East Australian Current (EAC) to reach his final destination in Hervey Bay near Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia."

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