Liquid Robotics’ newest innovation in the field of robotic wave gliders is a solar-powered robot named Alex, is swimming through the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Puerto Rico, to collect vital information, which will be used to predict future tropical storms and hurricanes. The solar-powered wave glider is the hundredth of its kind to be tested and can swim at a depth of up to seven meters.
Alex is designed to predict the strength of hurricanes by measuring stable temperatures under the surface of water. Conventionally forecasting depends on the data collected by aircrafts and satellites, which monitor surface temperature of seawater. The solar powered robot can also measure wind speed and other weather data, along with the direction of the wave and its speculated height.
The data collected by Alex will be fed into advanced hurricane models, which will help scientists understand its forecasts. Though, the recent advancements in technology have made it possible for scientists to predict the paths of hurricanes, predicting their intensity has been a challenge. Robots like Alex will help solve the problems, by predicting paths as well as intensities. The data will be immensely useful for a number of industries such as oil fields and fisheries.