What could be cooler than solar-and-wave-powered robots that roam the oceans collecting data for climate scientists and oil companies while performing top-secret missions for the military? Here’s what: Ones that can think for themselves.
The robots’ maker, Liquid Robotics, today unveiled its bigger and better next-generation Wave Glider SV3, which packs more computational firepower, a solar-powered thruster and new operating system that endows the bots what the company calls “intelligent autonomy.”
If the surfboard-sized Wave Glider SV3 finds itself on a collision course with an oil tanker, for instance, it can take evasive action on its own rather than email a Liquid Robotics operator in Silicon Valley and wait for a human to move it out of harm’s way.
The Wave Glider isn’t Cylon-smart yet but its new operating system, called Regulus, allows the robot to analyze the information it gathers at sea through its sensor arrays and beam back answers to clients’ questions. Current Wave Gliders just transmit terabytes of raw data to the cloud via an expensive satellite relay.