Hawaiian Hurricane Videos Via a Storm-Surfing Robot

wave glider under water photo

It’s always better to view hurricanes from a distance, and we’ve got hurricane videos via a wave gliding robot tweeting out a detailed analysis of the storms hitting Hawaii.

Yesterday weakened tropical storm Iselle hit the Hawaiian island with diminished 60 mph winds. Hurricane Julio should pass over the weekend, moving north of the Big Island of Hawaii–all being captured by the surfing robot.

This stealth surfing robot, called the Wave Glider Holohoho is powered by a combination of the waves themselves and solar panels. It’s equipped with internet, hurricane videos, and sensors that measure temperature, wind speed, water pressure, and wind direction. This fleet of Wave Gliders can perform complicated and precise surveys of large areas gathering storm data and streaming it real time.

The gliders, invented by Liquid Robotics, use a propulsion system that requires no refueling and very little maintenance as long as the ocean continues to move. NOAA has Wave Gliders that traveled right into the heart of Hurricane Sandy last year. Check out the video below for more info on this pretty incredible technology.

“If you look at an ocean-rated crew vessel that can do this, it costs about $150,000 a day in a commercial environment,” says Liquid Robotics CEO Bill Vass, reported on Fortune. “An ocean-rated research vessel is about $40,000 a day. We do the same kind of data collection — usually denser data collection actually, because we move more slowly — at about a tenth of that cost, and we don’t pollute or put people at risk when we do it.” Liquid Robotics is currently operating 200 Wave Gliders at Sea.

wave glider photo

“Our customer is anyone who moves over the ocean or extracts value from it,” Vass says on Fortune. “Or anyone who deals with weather,” he adds.

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Image: Stephen Chin