Monday, May 6, 2013

Live data stream from seas direct to you

A headline buried deep in the "Local" section in San Jose Mercury News which read "Sunnyvale-based Liquid Robotics' Wave Glider explores the seas" made for interesting reading. So, here is a small company born from curiosity of a few guys who just wanted to record whales in their natural habitat becoming a valley success story. Nothing new about that. There have been a few like them before. I will not even bother naming a few of these start-ups, preferring to leave that to the reader to search in the unlikely chance they cannot name a few without any aids.

The fact that these unmanned, self powered (solar + wave) little robots are capable of providing real time data about the waters they are in is pretty cool. And the fact that the company is opening up the data stream to outside world to use and create apps with it makes it even more cool. So, if you have a burning desire to come up with a cool app for this data stream jump in.

From the article linked above:

In hopes of inspiring the global science community to get their innovative juices flowing as well, Liquid Robotics is wrapping up a grand challenge it launched in 2011. The Pacific Cross Challenge had four Wave Gliders travel together to Hawaii and then took separate routes across the Pacific Ocean, one pair arriving in Japan and the other in Australia.

The gliders were routed across regions that had never before been remotely surveyed. They continuously transmitted data on salinity and water temperature, waves, weather, fluorescence and dissolved oxygen.

The challenge for the science community was to figure out what to do with the data, which was made available online in near-real time.