At Liquid Robotics®, we design and manufacture the Wave Glider®, the world’s first ocean robot powered by nature. Working as a single unit or in fleets, Wave Gliders complete long-duration missions by carrying a variety of sensors that collect ocean data. This data can be shared real-time to help address challenges facing defense, commercial, and science customers, making ocean data collection and communications easier, safer, and faster. To date, Wave Gliders have collectively traveled over 1.2 million nautical miles and are helping us explore portions of the world’s oceans in which it was previously too challenging or costly to operate.
In June 2015, we were honored by The Economist as the inaugural winner in the Ocean Innovation Challenge for our work with the Wave Glider. The Wave Glider was chosen from over 60 global entrants for its pioneering technology that “contributes most to the ‘blue economy,’ while presenting an environmentally sustainable and commercially viable solution.”
The Wave Glider has proven to be highly effective in helping to better monitor, measure, and understand the world’s oceans and coastlines. They have measured surface hydrocarbons to monitor water quality, tracked great white sharks’ migration patterns, measure the energy of a hurricane from the surface of the ocean, and much more. This technology helps us understand where marine animals are, where they aren’t, and why.
Some examples of where Wave Gliders are being used to better understand and protect our ocean spaces are in the Pitcairn Islands (South Pacific Ocean) where they help monitor the largest marine reserve in the world, and off the island of Utila (Honduras) where they are tracking whale sharks. With our technology, we can process data from whale sharks tagged with unique acoustic transmitters, that allows us 24/7 live feeds on their movements.
It’s a shame how little is known about our ocean. We believe that technology, like the Wave Glider, can provide the needed data to help decision makers make informed and efficient choices to better manage this vast resource. We understand the value that ocean data has in helping plan for the future, which is why we are glad to see the data collection and planning work being done in regions throughout the United States.