Liquid Robotics’ Mercury, an autonomous marine robot, proved it was really tough last week after surviving the intense weather in the Atlantic Ocean from Hurricane Sandy.
The Wave Glider survived winds up to 70 knots and continued to transmit weather data from its position, 100 miles east of Toms River, New Jersey.
The robot has weather sensors that picked up key weather trends from the ocean surface. For example, it reported a drop in barometric pressure of over 54.3 mbars to a low of 946 mbars as the hurricane came closer to New Jersey. The data helped forecasters predict the path of the storm.
New Jersey and New York were among the hardest hit states from the hurricane, which left millions of households without power and tragically killed numerous victims. Many technological devices and infrastructure on the land were damaged by the storm, as well.
But this robotic weather device kept on working despite the challenges.
“Mercury now joins the fleet of other Wave Gliders that have come through Category I hurricanes to successfully fulfill their missions,” Edward Lu, chief of innovative applications at Liquid Robotics, said in a company statement. “This is a testament to our robust and reliable technology and proof of its readiness for severe weather data collection.”
The Wave Glider was put in the ocean by a team of scientists from Liquid Robotics, Sonardyne, Rutgers University and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System.
It is part of a subsea and surface technology measurement program for global oceans and tsunamis.
“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,” Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics, added in the statement.
As of Tuesday, one of the most pressing concerns for the United States is whether the nation’s voting technology can work properly on Election Day given the lingering power outages from the storm, according to RobotXworld. Many new voting devices require generators or battery back-up for machines to work when electricity is off, RobotXworld adds.
At one point, up to 25 percent of U.S. cell phone towers were out of service due to the hurricane. That number has slowly been reduced as more towers got back online. The entire experience also may lead to a more sympathetic attitude to greater government regulation or at least more voluntary measures by the industry to improve a storm’s impact on cell phone service, TechZone360 reported.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey