BY HAWAII REPORTER – Liquid Robotics Inc., a Silicon Valley start up that maintains its oceans operations base on the Big Island, has obtained $18 million in funding, according to a filing at the U.S. Securities and Enforcement Administration.
The funding is yet another milestone for the Sunnyvale, California-based company that is developing an unmanned maritime vehicle that can be used for a variety of work, including patrolling harbors, monitoring water quality and climate, search and rescue services and aquaculture.
The company does its engineering, production and administration work on the Mainland, but maintains an operation in Kawaihae for the testing of ideas and sea trials. In 2009 one of its satellite-guided vehicles circumnavigated the Big Island in nine days.
The company, which last year won the Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation award for robotics, has a design that uses the up and down motion of waves to propel its vehicle, which consists of a surface buoy that’s connected to a wing beneath the waves.
The device already is being used in the Gulf of Mexico, having been deployed last year by BP to monitor water quality, marine life and weather near the Macondo well.