This robot was used to monitor Hurricane Sandy. It runs on waves and sent wind speed and other weather data to satellites for researchers to use in real time.
NOAA Successfully Deploys Wave Glider Robots In Live Test During Hurricane Sandy
NOAA deployed a Wave Glider named Mercury in the Atlantic earlier this week about 100 miles east of Tom’s River, N.J., just off the soon-to-be devastated Jersey Shore.
Mercury met Hurricane Sandy head on, streaming back realtime data on the storm as it came charging inland on Monday. Most notably, Mercury recorded winds as high as 70 knots (80 miles per hour) and a plunge in barometric pressure of over 54.3 millibars, troughing at 946 millibars just as Sandy was making landfall.
NOAA plans to eventually field entire fleets of these self-propelled, wave-powered instrument platforms along with faster moving counterparts (made from modified EMILY robots) that can actually keep pace with a storm (the slower-moving Wave Gliders are meant to position themselves in front of a storm as it blows over).
The data they collect will go a long way toward helping meteorologists improve their understanding of how different storms develop and the models they use to predict their paths and intensities—and hopefully save lives.