Tom’s nice post below showing aerial pics of Hawaii taken with a robot camera on a kite reminded me of a recent article in the New York Times Science section. It describes an autonomous vehicle invented by a new company called Liquid Robotics. The surfboard-sized “wave glider” propels itself along the surface of the ocean by extracting wave energy and steers by GPS. It can stay in one place, too. The robot completed a mission from California to Hawaii making 4 knots on average.
Read more about it in the NYT at the link below. Be sure to click on the image to get a better picture of how the machine works. The patent makes pretty interesting reading, too. This is one of the coolest inventions that I have encountered in a long time!
Glad you saw that one, Jim! Liquid Robotics is just down the road from where I live. There’s more information on their web site if anyone’s interested:
It’s a pretty cool technology, and for long-duration oceanic missions, it’s an ideal approach. The Wave Glider can be equipped with a variety of instrument packages, depending on the customer’s needs. I had some misgivings about how long a vehicle like that would last at sea, but judging from some of their pictures and test cases, it’s seriously not a problem.
Is Liquid Robotics hiring amateur robotics enthusiasts? I might be interested!
P.S. I do have other qualifications…
I hate to say it, but I honestly don’t know. From what I gather this is one of those garage start-ups that made good. (But also from what I gather, the people who started out in that garage actually had a lot of expertise going in.) So hiring amateur roboticists with other qualifications might be right up their alley. They do have an email address they use for job inquiries listed on their “Contact Us” page.
Hey, if you do talk to them and get an interview out here, let me know.