The human spirit is definitely something worth celebrating, especially when it comes to achieving feats which were previously thought of as impossible – such as the four minute mile. Well, when it comes to robots’ performances, these do not really get that much fanfare in the first place, partly because there is no human spirit to talk about here. Still, we do not want to take the gloss off the hard work of the team behind a self-controlled swimming robot that actually managed to complete its gruelling swim from San Francisco all the way to Australia, which is basically on the other side of the world.
This record-breaking 9,000 nautical mile (16,668km) trip required more than a year for the PacX Wave Glider to achieve, but along the way, it has sealed its name into the record books as being the first robot of its kind to do so. I guess it had nothing to worry about from stuff like jellyfish, but what about some other large fish that could have mistaken it for a meal, only to find its teeth sink into metal? The PacX Wave Glider’s function, apart from achieving that record, would be to collect data about the Pacific Ocean’s temperature, its salinity and ecosystem.