Sunday, 20 November 2011

Wave Glider robots set out to explore the seven seas, break the Guinness record

It's a bird, it's a plane, nope, it's Liquid Robotic's four Wave Gliders on a mission to snag the Guinness World Record for longest distance traveled on Earth by an automaton. Setting out today from the San Francisco Bay, the autonomous sea-faring crafts will travel far and wide to gather data about the world's oceans. Powered by the water's movement, the vessels are fuel-free, using "flapping" wings to move forward without human command. Tricked out with various solar-powered sensors, the robots can capture location, weather, temperature, wave height, barometric pressure and more throughout their travels. The 198.4 pound machines cost between $250,000 and $500,000 each depending on how many sensors are built-in -- a small price for scientists or commandeering pirates hoping to learn more about the 95 percent of ocean that has yet to be explored. Let's just hope they don't run into one of these guys.

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