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 based in Palo Alto, Calif., where she’s been covering the people, companies, and technology that make Silicon Valley a special place for more than 30 years. Perry started reporting on California tech companies from IEEE Spectrum’s New York office in the early 1980s, before relocating to the Bay Area full time in 1986. She has the privilege of having a front-row seat as tech history is being made, including the early days of video games, the growth of the personal computer industry, the rise and fall of Xerox PARC, and the incredible startup boom in Silicon Valley today. She has conducted in-depth interviews with a host of tech pioneers, including Gordon Moore, Andy Grove, Robert Noyce, David Packard, Irwin Jacobs, Andrew Viterbi, Jim Clark, Ray Dolby, Alan Kay, Adam Osborne, Gene Amdhal, Gary Kildall, Gordon Bell, Steve Wozniak, Marissa Mayer, Elon Musk, and Nolan Bushnell.
Besides covering Silicon Valley and startups in print and in her blog, View From the Valley, Perry follows trends in consumer electronics technology around the world. An IEEE member, she holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University.