Ocean robot survives Hurricane Sandy

Nov. 5, 2012 at 9:54 PM

TOMS RIVER, N.J., Nov. 5 (UPI) -- A seagoing robot meant to provide real-time weather data successfully rode out Hurricane Sandy and provided information for forecasters, its U.S. maker says.

Liquid Robotics said one of its Wave Glider marine robots named Mercury was 100 miles east of Toms River, N.J., when Sandy hit, but the machine functioned through the storm.

It withstood winds of up to 80 mph and continued to transmit real-time weather data about the storm.

"The cool part about Mercury battling Hurricane Sandy is that despite it being a Category 1 hurricane, Mercury continued to transmit wind and barometric pressure every 10 minutes," Liquid Robotics' Joanne Masters told CNET. "Being able to provide real-time weather data from the surface and the first layer of the water column of the ocean will help scientists better measure and predict hurricane intensity."

Wave Glider robots are autonomous monitoring devices that use ocean waves for propulsion and are equipped with

global positioning systems, computer processors, navigation software and a set of environmental sensors.

"We are working closely with scientists around the world to use the Wave Glider technology for better hurricane, typhoon, and tsunami prediction so we can help reduce the risk to human life and property," Liquid Robotics head Bill Vass said in a release.

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