Liquid Robotics, an ocean data services provider and developer of the first wave-powered Wave Glider marine robot, announced that the PacX Challenge Wave Gliders arrived in Hawai'i on the first leg of their 9000 nautical mile journey across the Pacific, after they have traveled over 3200 nautical miles - setting the new world record for the longest distance traveled by unmanned wave power vehicles.
The previous Guinness world record for the the longest distance covered at sea by an unmanned device stood at 2,500 nautical miles (4,630km).
Guinness World Records also recognized the world record for the longest flight ever completed by a full-scale unmanned conventional aircraft: 13,840 km (8,600 miles), by a USAF Northrop Grumman Global Hawk Southern Cross II.
Launched from San Francisco Bay, the Wave Gliders have survived 8-meter (26 foot) waves in a gale force storm, defied turbulent mid-ocean currents, all while transmitting real time ocean data and staying on course to their first destination: the Big Island of Hawai'i.
After a short check-up, the PacX Wave Gliders will embark on their final journeys to Australia and Japan.
During this portion of the record breaking, scientific expedition, the first team of Wave Gliders will cross the Mariana Trench and battle the Kuroshio Current on their way to Japan.
The second team will cross the equator on their way to Australia.
"We are proud our PacX Wave Gliders have reached their first destination and broken the world record," said Edward Lu, Chief of Innovative Applications at Liquid Robotics.
"I have no doubt new ocean discoveries, insights, and applications will emerge from the PacX data set. PacX represents a new model for providing widespread and easy access to environmental monitoring of the world's oceans, one in which Liquid Robotics operates fleets of mobile, autonomous ocean robots across previously inaccessible areas of the ocean."
About the Wave Glider
The Wave Glider is the first marine robot to use only the ocean's endless supply of wave energy for propulsion (no manpower, no emissions, no refueling).
The Wave Glider employs a multi-patented design that allows it to cost-effectively collect and transmit data gathered during yearlong missions, over distances of thousands of miles, or while holding station.
Data gathered by Wave Gliders will help us address the biggest challenges our marine environments face -- including ocean acidification, fisheries management, and natural disaster mitigation.