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Company Debuts World's First Hybrid Ocean Robot [VIDEO]

Apr 08, 2013 01:11 PM EDT
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Liquid Robotics debuted the Wave Glider SV3 this Monday, making it the world's first hybrid wave and solar propelled unmanned ocean robot.

In the past, similar robots have relied solely on wave energy for propulsion, leaving it vulnerable to calm seas.

The move to hybrid means the robot will boast more horsepower, which in turn will allow it to stay in one place despite ocean currents, as well as travel faster regardless of weather.

As Robger Hine, chief technology officer at Liquid Robotics, told VentureBeat, "It is still primarily a wave-guided vehicle, but when the waves are low, that is usually when it is sunny."

Other improvements over the last model, the SV2, is the SV3's powerful, on-board computing capabilities for local processing while still at sea as well as an enhanced ability to transmit specific answers back to manned receptor stations rather than simply raw data.

Its adaptable modular power system is built to accommodate the the vehicle's "power hungry" payloads including sonar, bathymetry, image analysis and multiple sensors.

The robot will use the operating system Regulus, which is designed around an open, cloud-based architecture in order to allow for constant availability as well as scalability. Using it, the SV3 will be able to download new apps at sea as well as changes in its mission.

Since it was introduced in 2009, the SV2 has traveled more than 300,000 nautical miles in its missions to collect information regarding a diversity of topics, including climate change, ocean acidification, tsunami warning and exploration for valuable resources.

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