Liquid Robotics have unveiled a robot that they say is the world's first hybrid wave and solar propelled unmanned ocean robot.
The Wave Glider SV3 incorporates the latest advancements in energy harvesting technology allowing it to utilise wave and solar energy for forward propulsion and travel tens of thousands of miles.
It is able to collect ocean data in the most demanding conditions, and then process and deliver the data in real-time to customers onshore.
Liquid Robotics says this will provide customers with access to new levels of ocean data, more pervasively and more cost effectively than from existing alternatives.
“The SV3 is a tremendous step forward in terms of what we can accomplish in the ocean and gives customers a competitive advantage to capture data in the most challenging ocean conditions,” said Bill Vass, CEO, Liquid Robotics.
“By providing the ability to deploy Wave Gliders across most of the planet and deliver ocean data in a new and cost-effective way, we’re enabling broad access to affordable ocean exploration.”
The company says the robot has specially developed propulsion and energy systems that will help customers explore portions of the world’s oceans in conditions that previously were too challenging or costly to operate.
This allows the robot to conduct missions across most of the planet and can collect data to help solve problems like global climate change, ocean acidification, fisheries management, hurricane prediction, tsunami warning and exploration for valuable natural resources.
Liquid Robotics said they used the basic design principle of their previous Wave Glider SV2 platform in the SV3.
The technology, introduced in 2009, has since travelled more than 300,000 nautical miles globally, set a world record for longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle (land or sea), and has been deployed on hundreds of customer missions ranging from the Arctic to Australia, and from the Canary Islands to Loch Ness.
Additional technological advancements introduced in the Wave Glider SV3 are "datacenter@sea", adaptable power and storage providing support for power hungry sensors and the introduction of a new, adaptable operating system designed for intelligent autonomy for fleet operations.
“The SV3 enables unparalleled, pervasive collection of data and processing of data,” said Roger Hine, CTO and inventor of the Wave Glider.
“Riding the advancements in consumer electronics, smart phone, tablet computing and a new generation of extremely capable processors, we are now able to provide processing onboard - actually as powerful as a supercomputer from not long ago.
“With that computational power and the ability to tirelessly swim across vast oceans, the Wave Glider SV3 represents a big step forward in the state-of-the-art of unmanned monitoring and exploration.”