Liquid Robotics: Reaching One Million Nautical Miles at Sea

By CIOReview | Monday, March 14, 2016

SUNNYVALE, CA: The pioneer of wave and solar powered ocean robots, Liquid Robotics, announced that their fleets of Wave Gliders have successfully reached one million nautical miles at sea. It is marked as an important milestone for the unmanned surface vehicle (USV) industry.

Completing missions from the Arctic to the Southern Ocean, the Wave Glider has become the first USV wave and solar powered autonomous ocean robot to do so.  Overcoming multiple hardships including 17 hurricanes/typhoons, the Wave Glider has achieved a Guinness World Record for the "longest journey by an autonomous, unmanned surface vehicle on the planet." An overwhelming fact, one million nautical miles is equivalent to 1.29x round trip journey to the moon (at the moon's furthest point) or approximately 46 times around the world.

"A million nautical miles at sea is an important threshold for Liquid Robotics, our customers, and the unmanned surface systems industry," said Gary Gysin, President and CEO of Liquid Robotics. "We're leveraging this expertise to help build an ocean sensor network with Wave Gliders serving as the communications hub and mobile sensor platform. Our vehicles are collecting and transmitting data today that is too costly or difficult to obtain, but is vital to our understanding and protection of the ocean."

In order to lower the cost, risks, and improve ocean access, allowing better measurement, monitoring, and understanding of maritime environments, the government and commercial organizations have been depending on unmanned ocean robots in the past decade. Moreover, to extend the range and effectiveness of traditional observation and surveillance systems, Wave Gliders have been deployed, especially in the Defense, Oil & Gas, and Scientific arenas. Subsequently, missions have been conducted in all five major oceans to collect and communicate environmental, security, weather, and seismic data.

 "For the unmanned systems industry surpassing one million nautical miles is a landmark event," said Dr. James Bellingham, Director Center for Marine Robotics, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. "It clearly proves Wave Gliders (USVs) can sustain long duration operations required for scientific and defense missions. They're changing how we explore and protect the ocean."