Sunday, May 26, 2013

Robot Boats Make Amazing Voyage Across the Ocean!

"Robot Boats Survive Epic Voyage Across the Pacific — So Far...

...HAWAII — Twenty-two feet below the surface, the robot glider towed me slowly through clear Hawaiian seas. The day before, a similar glider named Benjamin had arrived in these same waters. Benjamin and three companion gliders had traveled all the way from San Francisco — more than 3,000 miles — powered by only the motion of ocean waves.

Before they left California, Liquid Robotics VP of Operations Graham Hine blessed the gliders by smashing a bottle of champagne on one of their frames, asking nature for assistance: “Neptune, god of the seas, and Aeolus, god of the winds, we ask for your blessings upon these vessels that are going to transit from here to parts formerly unexplored by this kind of robot.”

The gliders had endured an epic journey from California to Hawaii, but they were on a mere layover — they’re in the middle of an attempt to cross the entire Pacific. There’s a world record for “greatest distance by an autonomous wave-powered vehicle” at stake, and on Monday four of the gliders left Hawaii to resume their quest to cross the world’s largest body of water on mostly wave power. The next leg of their trip will take them some 5,000 more nautical miles to the coasts of Australia and Japan.

The Wave Gliders’ journey is more than just a title grab for a machine that was first created as a modest tool to track whale songs. And the journey is more than just an endurance test for the machines, which are capable swimmers...."

Read the full article at its source:

Student Focus Question(s): Do you think there may be any limits to the power source these robots use? Are there things that might stop these robots from completing their journey's? If so, what might you design to prevent those things from happening? What most impresses you about this robotics project?

After thinking about this, you can enter your response using the "Commnets" function, below (to the left of the envelope icon). Feel free to identify your school and/or class....
Click on book cover for information on Getting Started with LEGO Robotics.

Anyone who works with kids can do LEGO Robotics, a rich and highly motivating platform for important STEM Learning! (surprisingly affordable, too) This books explains it all!

Check out ROBOTICS for TEACHERS Podcast

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