‘R2D2s of the sea’ sails across Pacific for science

The Wave Rider robots will travel 33,000 nautical miles on their journey and collect 2.25 million pieces of data


As you read this, four wave-propelled robots are making their way across the Pacific Ocean in a record-setting journey that will hopefully lead to new scientific discoveries. But they need your help.

With the support of Virgin Oceanic and Google Earth, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company Liquid Robotics launched four of its Wave Glider ocean robots on November 17 to embark on a PacX (as in Pacific crossing) expedition, where they are expected to collect 2.25 million pieces of data about the ocean. The Wave Gliders feature a wing system that uses wave motion to propel the robots, while solar panels power the various sensors used to collect data.

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