They are tracking humpback whales, both by sounds and on giants screens inside the Sunnyvale headquarters of Liquid Robotics. Scott Budman reports.
They are tracking humpback whales, both by sounds and on giants screens inside the Sunnyvale headquarters of Liquid Robotics.
And they are doing it by collecting data from a solar powered device called a Wave Glider. The Wave Glider SV series is a powerful computer disguised as a surfboard that moves through the water unlike anything that's come before.
It's fast, super high tech and has solved a problem. "It's really hard to operate in the ocean. There are no extension cords there," said Liquid Robotics CEO Bill Vass.
Vass showed us how his newest machine can operate 100-percent on solar and wave power without any emissions. It's like a Tesla for the ocean.
"With this new platform, we add wave and sun to thrust for our ability to move in the ocean," Vass said.
And did we mention its power? The solar batteries that run inside the surfboard essentially make the board a floating data center.
"If you think about it, these are like powerful floating cell phones. They have the same chips as your iPhone, and the ability to collect, process, and send data from the high seas," Vass said.
The Wave Gliders will be used to track fish populations, find oil and secure borders. Bass says they will help bring big data to 70-percent of the globe - our bodies of water - with one goal in mind.
Vass said he wants to be able to begin to manage and protect the ocean like we do on land. "The reason we do it on land is because we have the data. The reason we don't in the sea is that we don't have the data," Vass said.
With Wave Glider, it's becoming a little easier and a lot cleaner to get that data now.