For something that covers over two-thirds of the Earth's surface, it's surprising how little we know about the world's oceans. The United States' National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that over 95 percent of "the underwater world" has yet to be explored.
California based Liquid Robotics is a company looking to use renewable energy as a tool to further our knowledge of the ocean.
"We know more about space than we do about the ocean, and yet we have trillions of dollars of commerce that travel through our oceans," Gary Gysin, President and CEO of Liquid Robotics, told CNBC's Sustainable Energy.
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"80 percent of our oxygen comes from the oceans, one in six people get their protein source from the ocean, and yet we don't know that much about it," Gysin added.
Carrying out marine research with boats and submarines can be costly, labor-intensive and sometimes dangerous.
Liquid Robotics hope that their Wave Gliders will herald a change in the way that this kind of research is conducted. Wave Gliders are autonomous marine robots containing a 'hybrid power and propulsion system' that uses solar and wave powered energy to operate.
It is this system which allows the craft to carry out research even when conditions are less than favorable, when currents are high or during cyclones and hurricanes, for example.