Swimming robot arrives at Australia, breaks record in the process

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Having a human swim across an expanse of water like the English Channel is surely an achievement not to be trifled with, but rather, to be celebrated by the rest of the world, but do we do the same when it comes to robots? After all, robots do not have emotions, and they certainly are not out to chase records and all. The thing is, behind each robot is a human (at least that is the way things are at the moment, not until the robot apocalypse happens ala Terminator and we see robots start to make robots…), and certainly the human behind the robot’s conception and creation must be pretty darn proud if said robot was able to perform amazing tasks. Case in point, this particular self-controlled swimming robot which actually completed a journey from San Francisco all the way to Australia, covering a record-breaking 9,000 nautical miles (that would be 16,668km just in case you were wondering), a trip that required the PacX Wave Glider to spend more than a year in water to achieve.

Liquid Robotics is the US-based company behind the project, where the PacX Wave Glider’s main role is to collect data concerning the Pacific Ocean’s temperature, salinity and ecosystem from the drone itself. The company claimed that the success with PacX Wave Glider’s Herculean attempt is proof that such technology could actually “survive the high seas”, in their own words.

With a name like Papa Mau, this robot takes on a far more personal character, where it was so named in honour of the late Micronesian navigator Pius “Mau” Piailug, whose claim to fame was his innate ability to look out for ways to navigate through the seas without the need for traditional equipment.

Liquid Robotics said, “During Papa Mau’s journey, [it] weathered gale-force storms, fended off sharks, spent more than 365 days at sea, skirted around the Great Barrier Reef, and finally battled and surfed the east Australian current to reach his final destination in Hervey Bay, near Bundaberg, Queensland.” What other record breaking feats from robots that you would like to see?

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