PHOTOS: The Mind-Blowing, Floating, Unmanned Scientific Laboratory

Wave Gliders are about to make scientific exploration a lot cheaper and safer

(Liquid Robotics)

Ocean Energy Generator

Wave Glider
(Liquid Robotics)

The vessels cost $200,000 each. But in the fall, one researcher will get a free ride when Liquid Robotics announces the winner of its PacX Competition, in which scientists submitted proposals for a $50,000 grant to use a glider for six months. One finalist is Nicole Goebel of the University of California at Santa Cruz, who tracks growth patterns of phytoplankton—the microscopic organisms that serve as the base of the ocean food chain. The Wave Glider, she says, “is much more comprehensive in terms of covering space and gathering data over time than going out in a research vessel and taking a few samples.” Plus, it never gets seasick.

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