Columbus may have sailed the ocean blue in 1492, but it was not a pleasant trip. If he were around today he just might send out a Wave Glider or two to do his exploration while he enjoyed an umbrella drink on the beach. Maybe, maybe not. In any case, The Wave Glider, made by Liquid Robotics, is a handy little ocean plying vessel that can sail across the oceans for a year without requiring food, fuel, manpower or Facebook. Using sensors, solar collectors and a whole lot of advanced science, the Wave Glider uses the oceans wave to assist on its travels while it recharges itself from the sun. It can be programmed to carry out certain functions and it can transmit data across the airwaves to a computer. An independent, human-free vehicle plying the oceans is indeed a very revolutionary thing. It also has a very high cool factor. So, if you’re the practical type, you’re wondering how such a contraption might be used. It turns out that even the scientist who developed the technology initially thought of it as a fun project. But then he discovered that a vehicle traveling across the vast oceans while being rather low maintenance was useful for a wide range of purposes including weather research, monitoring oil spills, inspecting ships and confusing pirates. And soon enough, we’ll likely see this self-charging technology inhabiting our personal electronics. No more umbilical charging cord.