Introductory Robotics / Pre-Engineering, Using LEGO® WeDo and Mindstorms

National Robotics Week


In our lifetime, robots have traveled to the moon.
They’ve been to Mars.
They’ve cleaned our pools and they’ve helped perform surgeries.
But no robot has ever crossed the largest ocean on the planet.

That’s about to change.

Challenge application form[PDF]

What is PacX?

Four Wave Gliders. 300 Days. 25,000 Miles. 2,250,000 Discrete Data Points.

On November 17th, 2011, in San Francisco, Liquid Robotics will launch four Wave Gliders that will attempt to travel the longest distance at sea ever completed by an unmanned marine vehicle. The robots will travel together to Hawaii and then take separate routes across the Pacific, one pair arriving in Japan and the other in Australia. While at sea, the Wave Gliders will be routed across regions never before remotely surveyed and will continuously transmit valuable data on salinity and water temperature, waves, weather, fluorescence, and dissolved oxygen. This data will be made available in near real-time to allregistered individuals.

Oceanographic organizations already planning to use the data gathered during the Pacific crossing include Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the Monterey Naval Post Graduate School.

What sensors are onboard the Wave Gliders?

The following sensors are installed on all four Wave Gliders. The sampling interval for all sensors is 10 minutes.

  • Seabird GPCTD with Dissolved Oxygen Sensor – measures water conductivity, temperature, depth, and dissolved oxygen just below the float of the Wave Glider.
  • Datawell MOSE-G Directional Wave Sensor – measures significant wave height, average period, peak period, and peak direction.
  • Airmar PB200 WeatherStation – measures air temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed, wind gust speed, and wind direction one meter above the deck of the Wave Glider.
  • Turner Designs C3 Submersible Fluorometer – measures chlorophyll-A and crude oil fluorescence, as well as turbidity and water temperature just below the float of the Wave Glider.

The PacX Challenge Prize

“Liquid Robotics invites scientists to embark on a grand challenge journey with us as we cross the Pacific on a voyage of scientific discovery. These Wave Gliders are much like small ‘spacecraft’ that open up new opportunities for robotic exploration. I challenge all scientists who are interested in advancing ocean exploration to take advantage of this unique opportunity. What scientific questions can we address with this new and unique data set?” 
- Ed Lu, chief of innovative applications at Liquid Robotics.

As part of the PacX pacific crossing, Liquid Robotics is pleased to announce the PacX Challenge open to scientists around the world. Those who wish to compete for the PacX Challenge prize are required to submit a one-page research abstract outlining their scientific intentions for the data collected during the Pacific crossing. A board of distinguished U.S. and international ocean scientists will evaluate the submissions and select one grand prize winner who best represents the spirit of exploration and discovery embodied by this journey.

The grand prize winner will receive six months of free Wave Glider data services and will work with Liquid Robotics to chart the course and mission for the six month deployment, including configuration of onboard sensors.

The submission deadline for participation in the PacX Challenge is April 23, 2012.


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 year-long 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.

Learn more about the WaveGlider technology.

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