Robots Powered by Waves on Missions to Help Humans Understand Oceans

Here is a story about a unique robot able to harvest energy from the environment.  Using a patented system of cables and fins, the robot is able to use waves in the ocean to propel itself through the water.  There is a diagram explaining the system at the Liquid Robotics website.  Wave Glider has so many possible applications that it is difficult to list them all, but a few of the missions this bot can carry out are environmental sensing, monitoring whales, and collecting ocean surface data.  Read the article below for more on this amazing robot. Could a land-based robot do the same sort of thing and draw its power from the environment?  Let me know what you think.

Photo Credit: Treehugger

Liquid Robotics: Wave-powered robots serving diverse missions
SYS-CON Media (press release) (blog)
Liquid Robotics produces a wave-powered robot called the Wave Glider. This unmanned maritime vehicle (UMV) holds great promise in enhancing human understanding of the oceans, which will enable us to be better stewards of the essential resources it

Other article sources
Shark Attacks Liquid Robotics' Wave-Powered Robot Treehugger
all 3 news articles »

Liquid Robotics: Wave-powered robots serving diverse missions – SYS-CON Media (press release) (blog)
Fri, 17 Jun 2011 07:02:21 GMT

Robot Swarms Could Track Oil Spills in the Oceans

From Tech Fragments comes this story about autonomous underwater explorers (AUEs). These robots will be developed to deploy as a swarm and would be coordinated so they can follow the flow of the ocean currents.  Scientists hope to use the ball-shaped robots to measure ocean currents and from these measurements track such things as pollution from an oil spill.  "The information that each robot in the underwater flock has is pretty limited…and this information is very local. From this, we want to induce some sort of global behavior so the whole group moves in one direction—to follows the spill, for example. This is part of the algorithm design. Out of very local information, we need to induce global behavior of the flock of underwater robots," said professor Jorge Cortes, of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Follow the links below to see the several of the posts and stories on these little bots.

Credit: Tech Fragments and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Tiny Robot Swarms Will Study Tiniest Sea Life
Giant robots are best suited for Terminator-scale tasks. To measure the sea's tiniest inhabitants, oceanographers will need to build a new type of robot.
Swarm of Autonomous Robots to Patrol Oceans U.S. News & World Report
Scientists to release swarms of robots into the oceans
Sea Faring Robots to Monitor Oil Spills Tech Fragments
KPBSGenetic Engineering News (press release)
all 13 news articles »

Tiny Robot Swarms Will Study Tiniest Sea Life – FOXNews
(author unknown)
Tue, 10 Nov 2009 19:50:45 GMT