The scientific surfboard powered by waves

January 24, 2012 | Surfing
Wave Glider: a surfboard scientist

Wave Glider is probably the first surfboard that was not designed for riding waves. This new maritime robot built by Liquid Robotics is capable of sailing thousands of kilometers with the energy captured from the ocean wave movement.

Four versions of this electronic surfboard have been created and are currently carrying an important mission: the longest distance ever attempted by an unmanned ocean vehicle.

The Wave Glider surfboards are expected to collect approximately 2.25 million discrete data points, and take more than 300 days to complete their voyage. They will transmit valuable ocean data on salinity, water temperature, waves, weather, fluorescence and dissolved oxygen.

The robots will travel together to Hawaii and then take separate routes across the Pacific, one pair arriving in Japan and the other in Australia. There are fours sensors installed on each surfboard - oxygen sensor, directional wave sensor, a weather station and a submersible fluorometer.

All data will be analyzed by ocean researchers, scientists and students when the mission is accomplished. This exciting ocean expedition with wave motion powered robots may be followed online.