Robotics + Cloud Computing + Big Data
James Gosling joins Liquid Robotics
Thousands of small,
remote-controlled robot boats criss-cross the oceans and collect
data that they provide through a cloud infrastructure. These wave
gliders are powered by the energy they gain autonomously from the
surrounding water movements. By this, weather forecasting, research
on ocean currents, detection of oil deposits, and new forms of
fish-farming all become possible.
What sounds like an ambitious research project is the tangible business model of Liquid Robotics, and the scenario which no lesser than "Java-father" James Gosling is to deal in the future. After only five months of employment at Google, Gosling has accepted a job as chief software architect at the small start-up, Liquid Robotics.
As Gosling describes in his blog, he will take care on the one hand of the on-board software of the mini-boats, which involves the sensors, autonomous power supply and navigation. On the other hand, Gosling deals with the processing of the vast data quantity the boats will collect during missions lasting up to 2 ½ years.
Liquid Robotics´ business model is promising. Founded in 2007, the company has customers such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, various energy companies, telecommunications companies and the U.S. Military. Currently 30 % of company revenue comes through the sale of the collected data. This number is expected to grow to 90% by building an infrastructure of cloud-based data services. According to Liquid Robotics CEO Bill Vass, the new technology will allow a considerable reduction of the 60 billion U.S. dollars spent annually on the collection of marine data via satellites, buoys and ships. Contracts are already signed to send out thousands of wave gliders on a journey through the oceans in the next two years.
Liquid Robotics is changing the economics of ocean operations. [...] James is one of the best software engineers in the industry and will help us revolutionize global oceanic knowledge on a scale unknown in history and dimension.
Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics
Robotics + Cloud Computing + Big Data - a combination that seems to be more fascinating for Gosling than his last position at Google, which was not really well defined anyway. "This is going to be a lot of fun," said Gosling about his new challenge in his usual flippant style. Perhaps Gosling can even find a way to prevent occasional shark attacks on the robot-boats?