Under the heading of "robot business", we were very pleased to see that even in today's extremely challenging business climate, robot ventures are continuing to attract substantial investment.
While increased use of robotics isn't likely to result in a corresponding increase in employment for their human counterparts, contrary to popular belief, it will open up new applications and open the door to exploring new opportunities that were previously considered to be too hazardous, risky, or beyond the keen of available economical technology solutions.
A good example is Liquid Robotics, the creator of marine robotic drones that utilize ocean waves and solar arrays to generate the power required for their operation. These unique platforms are almost totally self-sufficient and can automatically maintain their position in the ocean, kind of the sea-going equivalent of the geostationary satellites positioned in space over the planet.
Because this technology is expected to yield significant benefits to applications that require ocean monitoring, including some military/defense type applications, the company was able to bring in approxiamately $22 million in investment capital.
"Liquid Robotics has raised a $22 million series d investment, led by VantagePoint Capital Partners. Based in Hawaii and California, the company makes wave-powered, marine drones that are remote controlled by satellite, and capable of roaming the seas unmanned to gather environmental and defense-related data."
The robots are smaller than we first expected, as you can see from this video from their facility:
The company has also been blessed with a new CEO, Bill Vass, who is coming off of a successful career as the president and COO of the Sun Microsystems Federal organization. It seems likely that the shift in management was linked to the injection of fresh capital. Obviously the new investors see more on the horizon for the company than just monitoring the health and habits of the humpback whale.