Popular Mechanics: Did Russia Just Copy a U.S. Navy Robot?
America's wave-running submarine is a great for monitoring the seas and tracking any would-be submarine threats. Russia's version looks awfully familiar.
In September the Russian newspaper Izvestia ran a story about a new robot being tested by the Russian navy. Just one thing: It bears a striking resemblance to one that already exists.
That robot, called the Wave Glider, was built by Liquid Robotics in Hawaii, originally to monitor humpback whales. It is composed of two parts. First, there is a surface element, which looks like surfboard laden with solar panels for electricity and satellite communication. Twenty feet underwater and connected to the float by a tether is the second element, a small sub with six flexible wings or fins. As waves move the float up and down, they drag the sub, too. The wings convert the vertical movement into forward thrust. Such wave propulsion is slow, only one or two miles per hour. But solar power gives the Wave Glider almost unlimited endurance. Originally built in 2007, the Wave Glider crossed the 9,000-mile expanse of the Pacific only five years later.
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WNU Editor: No need to steal or copy the plans. The concept is described in the above video, and apparently there are many commercial models available.