Seafaring robot sails through Sandy unscathed

A Wave Glider named Fontaine Maru is seen floating toward Hawaii after its launch in San Francisco.

(Credit: Liquid Robotics)

Hurricane Sandy has destroyed houses, cars, and boats, and caused some $20 billion in property damage, but one robot rode out the storm at sea without a scratch, as far as its maker can tell.

Liquid Robotics said one of its Wave Glider marine robots named Mercury was 100 miles east of Toms River, N.J., when Sandy hit, but the machine continued to function.

It withstood winds of up to 70 knots and continued to transmit real-time weather data about the storm.

“The cool part about Mercury battling Hurricane Sandy is that despite it being a Category 1 hurricane, Mercury continued to transmit wind and barometric pressure every 10 minutes,” Liquid Robotics’ Joanne Masters says. “Being able to provide real-time weather data from the surface and the first layer of the water column of the ocean will help scientists better measure and predict hurricane intensity. This can help save lives and prevent property devastation.”

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