Wave Glider Let’s You Track Sharks With Your iPhone [Video]
Back in November of 2011 I shared the pretty cool news about a project called Wave Rider which was intended to send out autonomous robots to map the world’s oceans.
Well it turns out that not only are they doing that but they are also doing a bunch of other rather interesting things like monitoring the movements of electronically tagged sea life, which by the way includes great white sharks.
The tracking of the sharks is part of a project by Professor Barbara Block from Stanford University to map the “highways” of the migratory routes of of the coast of San Francisco
After first hearing about the “environmentally friendly” unmanned technology developed by the Silicon Valley based company Liquid Robotics, Prof Block said she became “infatuated”.
The bright yellow shark-tracking robot designed by the company consists of two parts – a glider that descends 23ft (7m) down into the ocean with a surfboard above.
The glider has a special wing system that converts wave energy into forward thrust to keep the robot moving through the water. It also has a receiver that picks up the audio signals from the sharks’ electronic tags.
The surfboard carries the rest of the scientific instruments, including the satellite link that allows researchers to accurately pinpoint the animals’ locations.
When a shark or other tagged animal encounters the robot, their position is recorded and relayed back to the research team.
To make this even more interesting they project is sharing the information with the public through an iOS app called Shark Net which lets users follow the sharks movements in real time as well as view video and photos about sharks.
As Prof. Block calls it – it’s sharks in your pocket.