Liquid Robotics

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Liquid Robotics, Inc.
Founded 2007
Headquarters Sunnyvale, CA; Kamuela, HI.
Key people

CEO: Gary Gysin
CFO: Pablo Luther
CTO & Founder: Roger Hine
Chief Software Architect: James Gosling
Chief of Innovative Applications: Edward Lu

SVP of Mission Services: Graham Hine
Products Ocean data services
Number of employees
120+[citation needed]

Liquid Robotics is an American ocean data services provider and developer of the Wave Glider, an autonomous, environmentally powered ocean-going platform for gathering and remotely transmitting information about the surface of the ocean, such as water temperature, and the atmospheric conditions above, such as wind speed. Among Liquid Robotics' customers are defense, oil & gas, commercial and science customers.[1] Liquid Robotics is venture backed by  VantagePoint Capital Partners, Riverwood Capital and Schlumberger.[2]


In November 2012, a Liquid Robotics' Wave Glider autonomous underwater glider set a Guinness World Record for the "longest distance traveled on the Earth's surface by a robot" by travelling over 14,000 kilometres (9,000 mi) on an autonomous journey of just over one-year duration.[3]

Wave Glider[edit]

Underwater picture of Wave Glider above

The Wave Glider is composed of two parts: the float is roughly the size and shape of a surfboard and stays at the surface; the sub has wings and hangs 6 meters below on an umbilical tether. Because of the separation, the float experiences more wave motion than does the sub. This difference allows wave energy to be harvested to produce forward thrust.

Initial Wave Glider[edit]

The Wave Glider is equipped with computers for navigation and payload control, satellite communication systems, and ocean sensors to measure the environment around it. Sensors have been integrated to measure weather, sea conditions, water quality and chemistry, living organisms, bottom topography and currents. Acoustic microphones and arrays have been adapted to record passing ships and the vocalizations of whales and other mammals. The power needed to operate the sensors and computers is provided by solar panels, which are used to recharge lithium-ion batteries.

The Wave Glider can be programmed for autonomous operation, or it can be steered by a remote pilot over the Internet. Continuous, near real time, communication is provided via satellite, cellular phone or radio links for piloting and data transmission.[4]

Wave Glider SV3[edit]

In April 2013, Liquid Robotics announced a follow-on to the original Wave Glider, with the capability to do more data analysis and processing on board the floating unit while providing additional oceanographic and atmospheric data collection and transmission services, a floating "server rack" for providing services to the fishing and oil & gas industries.[5]

PacX Challenge[edit]

Chlorophyll fluorescence data collected during the PacX journey

In November 2011, Liquid Robotics launched the PacX Challenge, an attempt to get four Wave Gliders across the Pacific. They were launched from San Francisco’s St. Francis Yacht Club and travelled together to Hawaii, a distance of nearly 6000 km, arriving in March 2012.[6] The Wave Gliders launched from Hawai’i on 21 May 2012 for the second leg of their voyage, with two headed across the Mariana trench to Japan and two to Australia.

On 20 November 2012, the first of the Wave Gliders, Papa Mau (named in honor of Mau Piailug), reached Australia.[7] Papa Mau completed its 9,000 nautical mile (17,000 kilometer) journey across the Pacific Ocean to Australia, setting a new world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle.

PacX Competition[edit]

The PacX Challenge awards a prize to the best research proposal submitted utilizing data gathered on the transpacific crossing. The prize comprises a $50,000 research grant (courtesy of BP, the oil and gas industry supporter of the PacX Challenge) and six months of Wave Glider time. The winner will work with Liquid Robotics to chart the course and mission for the six-month deployment, including the configuration of onboard sensors.[8]


Board of Directors[edit]

Liquid Robotics Board of Directors:[9]

Strategic Advisory Board[edit]

  • Marv Langston, Former Dep. Asst. Secretary of Defense, USDOD, chairman of the SAB
  • Bill Vass, VP of Engineering Amazon Web Services, former CEO of Liquid Robotics, President and Chief Operating Officer of Sun Microsystems Federal, CIO of Sun Microsystems, Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of the CIO
  • Archie Clemins, Admiral, US Navy, former Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet
  • Robert S. Gelbard, Founder and Chairman Washington Global Partners, LLC, former Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia
  • Joanne Isham, Former L-1 and BAE executive, former Deputy Director for NGA and CIA
  • Arthur "Art" Money, former Asst Secretary of Defense (C3I) USDOD, former president of ESL, Inc.
  • John Tozzi, Rear Admiral, US Coast Guard (ret)
  • John Gage, former partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Buyers
  • James Bellingham, Chief Technologist, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
  • Scott McNealy, Chairman Wayin, former CEO and founder Sun Microsystems
  • Karl Rauscher, Bell Labs Fellow, Distinguished Fellow and CTO of the EastWest Institute
  • Millard S. Firebaugh, Independent consultant for Defense & Energy, Admiral, U.S. Navy (ret)
  • Gregory Poulos, Maritime Attorney, Partner, Cox, Wooton, Griffin, Hansen & Poulos
  • Tim Richardson, Strategic Advisor, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Board member at IXYS Corporation, Samplify, Jupiter Research Foundation
  • Boyd Robinson, Defense consultant, former RADM Royal Australian Navy (RAN), former chairman Navy Health
  • Eric Terrill, Director, Coastal Observing Research and Development Center, Marine Physical Laboratory, Scripps Institution of Oceanography


  1. ^ Shalal, Andrea (23 September 2014). "Boeing, Liquid Robotics to cooperate on maritime surveillance". Reuters. Retrieved 11 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "About Liquid Robotics". Retrieved 2016-03-10. 
  3. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2012-12-05). "Science robot ends Guinness record-breaking ocean journey". C/Net. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  4. ^ "Wave Glider Concept". website. Liquid Robotics. Retrieved 2012-03-14. 
  5. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2013-04-08). "Liquid Robotics launches autonomous sea-faring data center". C/Net. Retrieved 2013-04-10. 
  6. ^ "Swimming robots break world distance record in Pacific", BBC News, 14 March 2012, retrieved 6 December 2012 .
  7. ^ "Swimming robot reaches Australia after record-breaking trip", BBC News, 5 December 2012, retrieved 6 December 2012 .
  8. ^ PacX Challenge, Liquid Robotics, retrieved 6 December 2012 .
  9. ^

External links[edit]