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Slideshow: Next-Gen Wave Glider Robot Propelled by Solar

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Rob Spiegel
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Impressive tech combo
Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 8:44:54 AM
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Ann, this is a remarkable integration of a number of technologies -- solar, battery, energy storage, conversion of ocean movement. If you gather a number of technologies together no sngle technology has to be perfect. This is a good example.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Elizabeth M   5/7/2013 9:12:44 AM
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It's nice to see the evolution of this useful and innovative robot as it uses alternative energy sources, Ann. I wrote about this technology awhile back and thought it always had a solar component, though? Is this just an extension of that? Or was I misled or mistaken?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 1:00:10 PM
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Elizabeth, the Wave Glider you and I have both written about before did have solar, but it was not used for propulsion--instead, it powered the instruments in the payload, as the article states, and as is still the case. Now, some of that solar energy is also stored and used for propulsion.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Elizabeth M   5/8/2013 7:49:38 AM
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Ah, OK, Ann, now I get it. Very cool how they have extended the use of solar. I think these are some of the most innovative robots with some of the greatest potential for use.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Ann R. Thryft   5/7/2013 1:02:10 PM
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Rob, thanks for that observation--I agree about the integration of technologies. That, plus using solar for propulsion, is why I wanted to share this with our readers. It's also why the robot won the Edison Award even before this latest innovation.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Rob Spiegel   5/7/2013 5:10:34 PM
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I would imagine the integration of emerging technology will become more common. There are so many new sustainable technologies that are getting proved, it's only natural that end products will begin to show up with a convergence of new technologies.

Debera Harward
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Debera Harward   5/7/2013 5:39:10 PM
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Ahan Ann , Thats really very great uptill now i have only heard about unmanned ground vehicle but this is the very first time i came to know about unmanned marine vehicle with soo many add on features included into it. These sort of marine robots are really very usefull as they help us to gather all the marine information in any type of climate cost effectively . With these sort of unmanned marine vehicles we can keep ourselves aware from earth quakes, tsunamis, and ocean storms etc without engaging any human life in it .

AnandY
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Re: Impressive tech combo
AnandY   5/8/2013 2:09:20 AM
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Unmanned marine vehicles can also be used to perform naval missions without endangering humans in hazardous areas. They can be used for patrolling of the coasts.

Debera Harward
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Debera Harward   5/8/2013 1:22:09 PM
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Yes Anandy You are correct these robots can be used by navy in their missions, Secondly they can be very important asset in getting soil ,underwater and earths crust information. With all these information one can take precautionary measures if god forbidds some natural disaster comes into notice

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 1:12:26 PM
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Debera, we've done a couple of slideshows that include unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs), autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Here are the links if you're interested in finding out more: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=262528 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=246206

Charles Murray
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Charles Murray   5/7/2013 8:56:26 PM
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Agreed, Rob. The interesting twist here is that the two sources -- solar and waves -- would seem to be complementary. Typically, the sea is at it's calmest under a clear sky and the waves are highest under overcast skies. If that's the case, one source provides power while the other is idle.  

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Rob Spiegel   5/8/2013 1:47:14 PM
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Good point, Chuck. I alslo wonder if the device is built to withstand rough seas. That might provide a bit too much energy.

Charles Murray
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Charles Murray   5/8/2013 7:38:12 PM
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I would think that really powerful waves could provide more energy than this robot can handle, Rob.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Ann R. Thryft   5/9/2013 12:08:32 PM
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Rob and Chuck, this robot has successfully completed several different multi-thousand-mile voyages across the Pacific, and is used by the US government and private firms for long-term, unattended missions that last up to a year. It's built to handle just about anything, including collecting data during Hurricane Isaac: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=250192

PaPaMuski
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Re: Impressive tech combo
PaPaMuski   5/8/2013 8:30:25 AM
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I am curious about how wave motion is converted into a propulsion force

RHar
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Re: Impressive tech combo
RHar   5/8/2013 9:18:36 AM
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I was also very curious about how they converted wave motion into propulsion and couldn't wait for the answer. I found it on Liquid Robotics' website.

http://www.liquidr.com/technology/wave-motion.html

Very slick.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Impressive tech combo
Ann R. Thryft   5/9/2013 12:07:37 PM
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When I first heard of the Wave Glider, its propulsion system was what intrigued me the most. Thanks for posting that link, RHar. the company has put a bit more info online about how this works than when I first wrote about it last year. In any case, it struck me as one of those "why didn't someone else already think of it?" obvious-in-hindsight inventions.

CLMcDade
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Tied together with a bow
CLMcDade   5/8/2013 9:43:04 AM
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Ann,

Nice follow up story.  It is interesting to see how they are evolving their design and use of solar energy.

One of the things I really like about your columns is that when relevant or useful, you reference past articles, bringing expanded insight to the current article or updating the information that the old one provided with new developments.  And you provide links to make reading further easy.

When reading columns in Design News or on other sites, I often find that I remember previously reading a related article that has relevance to the current one, but don't have the time (or the organization) to go and find it on my own. You usually do that for us, and it is appreciated.

Thanks for your efforts.

Clinton

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Tied together with a bow
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 1:17:34 PM
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Clinton, thanks for the kind words. Putting these robot slideshows together is a lot of fun (as well as a lot of work). I also try to give some context to our readers, since, as a reader myself, I have the same frustrations when that's missing. Glad to hear this effort is useful.

bobjengr
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Next -Gen Wave Glider Robot
bobjengr   5/8/2013 4:13:26 PM
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Very informative.  I had no idea this technology existed.  I did look on their web site but did not see any information as to how the robot was guided.   Do you know what steering mechanism is used to get from point"A" to point "B"?  Excellent Post Ann.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Next -Gen Wave Glider Robot
Ann R. Thryft   5/8/2013 7:03:50 PM
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bobjengr, there's a brief discussion about propulsion on their website, which RHar helpfully posted below. Here's the link again: http://www.liquidr.com/technology/wave-motion.html

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