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(15,480 posts)
Fri Jul 31, 2015, 02:03 AM Jul 2015

"Strange Orange Robots Sail Into Dutch Harbor. Just What Are They Up To?"

Excerpts from a very entertaining article

These robots are 18 feet tall. Each one has a bright orange wing of carbon fiber sticking up from a floating platform. At sea, they look like oversized windsurfers. Using the wind for propulsion, and solar panels for their electronics, they’ve been traveling thousands of miles in the Bering Sea all by themselves.

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and the University of Washington are collaborating on the high-tech project.

They say each drone can carry more than 200 pounds of scientific instruments. They can cruise the open ocean at up to 14 knots. They can boldly go where it would cost a lot more to send a ship full of human beings.

At a busy fishing dock on Unalaska’s Captain’s Bay, Jenkins says he launched the two sail drones from the very same dock in April.
Jenkins: “We sent them out of here into 45-knot headwinds. From here, they went to St. Paul, then up through the Bering Sea up to Nome, then over to Norton Sound. We mapped the Yukon delta. Then they sailed back to Dutch Harbor. So 4,500 miles on each drone.” The last time humans surveyed the sea floor of the Yukon delta, the year was 1899.

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"Strange Orange Robots Sail Into Dutch Harbor. Just What Are They Up To?" (Original Post) Divernan Jul 2015 OP
Hal: ďIím sorry, Dave, Iím afraid I canít let you do that.Ē Divernan Jul 2015 #1
The headline made me think of the "strandbeests". DetlefK Jul 2015 #2
Are the Japanese bombing Dutch Harbor? Again? nt Xipe Totec Jul 2015 #3
they're here to depose the Penionaries and dissolve the Raad? or is it a different sort of Orange? MisterP Jul 2015 #4


(15,480 posts)
1. Hal: ďIím sorry, Dave, Iím afraid I canít let you do that.Ē
Fri Jul 31, 2015, 02:27 AM
Jul 2015
Jenkins: “The Arctic is one of the cutting edges of climate change now. So getting to the Arctic to measure how fast the ice is melting and what happens to the ocean when it does melt is huge. Normally, that would be very, very expensive. You would need a big icebreaker. It’s a long way to go and very remote, whereas we can send these at very low risk and very low cost into some of harshest parts of planet.”

But what it the drones get sick of being sent to the harshest parts of the planet?

2001 movie clip: “Open the pod bay doors, Hal.”

“I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid I can’t let you do that.”

Of course, that’s just science fiction.


(16,426 posts)
2. The headline made me think of the "strandbeests".
Fri Jul 31, 2015, 06:30 AM
Jul 2015

"Strandbeest" is dutch and means "beach beast".

It's a mechanism with a sail at the top, whipped back and forth by the wind. The whipping movement is translated via levers and cogs into the movement of legs and the beast walks along the beach. (You have to watch them on video. If you squint your eyes, they really look like animals.)

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