This week, Alex’s sibling robot, Mercury, battled directly through Hurricane Sandy 160 km due east of Toms River, NJ, and the now-decimated Jersey Shore. It met the storm at the point labeled 110 in the map below and traveled with the hurricane to the point labeled 100.
The wave-powered robot transmitted weather data in real time, recording a plunge in barometric pressure of over 54.3 millibars to a low of 946 millibars as Sandy approached the coast. (Typically, atmospheric pressure at sealevel is 1013 millibars). It clocked winds at up to 70 knots, or 130 km/hour.
Photo: top: a Wave Glider robot in the Pacific earlier this year. Below: Wave Glider Mercury's path during Hurricane Sandy. Credit: Liquid Robotics
Tekla S. Perry is a senior editor at IEEE Spectrum. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., she's been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 30 years. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Michigan State University.