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Take Note, Michael Phelps: Liquid Robotics' Wave Glider Swims 9,000 Miles To Australia, Breaks Record

Liquid Robotics' Wave Glider robots have been in the news regularly for the last year because of the scale of their endeavor: Tiny wave-powered machines, swimming on their own to perform scientific studies, in the vastness of the world's oceans against all the weather you can imagine. And now one, called Papa Mau, has arrived in Australia after a 9,000 nautical mile journey, which is a world record for the longest distance traveled by an autonomous vehicle of its type.

According to Liquid Robotics, Papa Mau "navigated along a prescribed route under autonomous control collecting and transmitting unprecedented amounts of high-resolution ocean data never before available over these vast distances or timeframes." All the data is being made open to competitors as part of the PacX Challenge, a global competition that's been set up to explore and research the data set. Five science teams have now been selected to compete for the grand prize of $50,000 in research money from BP.