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Robot swims 9000 miles from California to Australia

Liquid Robotics, the company that made the vehicle, announced last week that the trip had been successful after the year-long swim.

Robot oceanEnlarge
Liquid Robotics, a technology company, successfully completed a 9000-mile swim of its autonomous robot, Papa Mau. (Liquid Robotics/Courtesy)

A data-collecting robot swam 9000 miles from California to Australia.

Liquid Robotics, the company that made the vehicle, announced last week that the trip had been successful after the year-long swim.

VentureBeat said the robot fended off gale force winds, sharks and wound its way around the Great Barrier Reef to land in Bundaberg, Australia.

The robot also survived corrosive saltwater.

The company dropped four of its Wave Glider robots off the San Francisco coast in November of last year to see if they could make the trip.

The "Papa Mau" was the first robot that reached land.

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The others are expected to reach Australia and Japan in the new year.

“We always suspected that this kind of ocean crossing was possible, and we designed this platform to do it,” said Graham Hine, senior vice president of operations at Liquid Robotics, according to PopSci.

“But to actually achieve a 9,000-mile journey from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere, that was the stretch goal for this platform."

It is hoped that similar robots will be able to spend months and years at sea collecting data for scientists.

The Papa Mau was named after Mau Piailug, a famous navigator from Micronesia

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121210/robot-swims-9000-miles-california-australia