“Honey Badger” sail drone may save the ocean

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

sea drone
Honey Badger is said to be one of the most effective ways to monitor the ocean.

The Honey Badger is a 19-foot-long, 7-foot-wide high-tech water drone. Though its advanced design was meant to set world records for speed, the inventor decided there was more to the robot than a life of racing. Now, the Honey Badger is setting its sights on impacting science, watercraft tech, and the environment.

Just like other drones, Honey Badger is an unmanned vehicle. It has a large 20-foot wing sticking up over the water, like a large sail. This wing can adjust to face the wind in order to generate power better, and a steering panel in the back can keep it on course. The Honey Badger’s efficient energy generation from the wind also provides a model for other drone and non-drone watercraft to follow.

Because the device is so speedy, it may be used to keep up with whales and sharks that have been tagged for scientific research. Also, if other water vehicles get too close to the marine life, Honey Badger can send out a warning to the sailors and tell them to tread carefully. Besides tracking large ocean creatures, the drone can collect data on weather patterns, such as global warming.

Even non-environmental organizations are likely to benefit from the Honey Badger, especially the mining, oil drilling, and military industries. Normally, it requires a risky combo of resources and manpower for businesses to explore uncharted material-rich territories or for the military to scout out enemies on the high seas. However, the water drone provides a cost-effective way to venture into the unknown, while alerting authorities about potential disasters like oil spills or enemy ships.

Images courtesy of Saildrone.