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Application Spotlight—“Increasing the aperture with which we see the oceans”

Posted by Norman Miglietta on 10/23/2012

Robotboat stands out as global M2M paragon

When describing the advantages of our KORE Global Connect™, and the capability it affords for multi-national customers to plumb once for high-reliability cellular and satellite M2M coverage across the globe, it is often difficult to illustrate at a word the advantages such connectivity bestows. But we came across an intriguing concept on Kickstarter, a website where anyone can propose a project and create crowd sourced funding, the other day, whereby former spacecraft engineers are bringing to bear a low-cost, self-propelled sailing vessel (or rather, a fleet of such vessels) to study the health of the world's water like never before.

When we look at the Robotboat Mark VI, we see one thing: an M2M extravaganza.

First, let us look at the boat’s autonomous guidance system. This feature requires a number of classic M2M devices for GPS positioning, for monitoring physical conditions such as wind direction and ocean currents, and for making the automated sail and rudder adjustments to keep the boat on its selected bearing.

Then we have the M2M sensors that allow Robotboat to carry out its mission: data collection from the middle of nowhere in the ocean, at the cost of pennies as opposed to 10’s of thousands of dollars per day. Armed with data from these most remote points on earth, Robotboat will be able to do things like increase the precision of models for climate change; provide better water quality management metrics; monitor sea life more closely; provide safeguards to the merchant marine against piracy; and find source pollutants that otherwise may never be located.

All of these capabilities underscore the keen attention that has been paid by M2M device manufacturers to smaller form factors, better energy use characteristics and multi-modal communication platforms over the past few years. These are the block-and-tackle innovations which, combined with ubiquitous “pole-to-pole” connectivity delivered via fiscally-responsible means, allow forward-thinking visions such as Robotboat to be bootstrapped to life. No multi-carrier negotiations. No minimum airtime charges. No extraneous fees. No “seams” when flipping between cellular and satellite connections, so the boat will never go off the grid.

But we are most impressed with the fact that it is former spacecraft engineers who have turned their attention to this pursuit. Space is, of course, where M2M technology takes its roots and we are proud to see our industry spearhead such a noble earthbound undertaking.

By Felix Chuang, Senior Product Manager

Felix Chuang is Senior Product Manager at KORE Telematics, an industry leader in the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) wireless market. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the Internet and wireless industries in a broad range of roles such as product management, business development, and operations.  He is currently focused on the KORE Global Connect product line, which provides a single SIM for M2M network service in 180+ countries and 230+ carriers.

He can be found on twitter at: @felixc and KORE Telematics can be found at: @koretelematics

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