Wave Glider aquatic robots set world record

Prediction time.  Drug runners and others are going to begin to use these for smuggling.   A small bit of extra technology can make these units able to receive instructions via satellite Internet.  They can be programmed to put their antennas up at night and down in the daytime and with the right coloration and low profile, they will be able to travel unseen from virtually any coast in the world to any other coast.

– Given the huge profit margins involved in smuggling, if they loose a few along the way, it’ll just be the cost of doing business.

– In fact, a secondary industry might spring up among people who want to find them before they deliver their goods to the smugglers.

– Dennis

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A group of four autonomous underwater vehicles have just set a world distance record, by traveling from San Francisco to Hawaii

On November 17th of last year, a group of four wave-powered autonomous aquatic robots set out from San Francisco, embarking on a planned 37,000-mile (60,000-km) trip across the Pacific ocean. Recently, the fleet of Wave Gliders completed the first leg of their journey, arriving at Hawaii’s Big Island after traveling over 3,200 nautical miles (5,926 km). By doing so, they have set a new distance record for unmanned wave-powered vehicles – that record previously sat at 2,500 nautical miles (4,630 km).

The Wave Gliders are made by California- and Hawaii-based Liquid Robotics, and each consist of a floating “boat” tethered to an underwater winged platform. The motion of the waves causes these wings to paddle the boat forward, while solar cells on the deck of the boat provide power to its sensors and transmitters. These sensors measure oceanographic data such as salinity, water temperature, wave characteristics, weather conditions, water fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen. GPS and a heading sensor also help the craft to orient themselves.

– More…


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