NASA News

Chris Rink
757-864-6786, 757-344-7711
christopher.p.rink@nasa.gov
03.30.12
 
MEDIA ADVISORY : 12-025
 
 
NASA Talk Examines the Future of Ocean-Going Robots
 
 
HAMPTON, Va. -- What happens when Silicon Valley meets marine science? You have a robot that can operate independently for years at sea.

On Tuesday, April 3, at NASA's Langley Research Center here, Bill Vass, CEO of Liquid Robotics will present, "Where The Cloud Meets the Ocean," at 2 p.m. in the Reid Conference Center. Vass will discuss how seven megatrends are converging to change the way ocean research operations and data collection is done across the globe.

Vass will be available to answer questions from the media during a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. that day. Media who wish to do so should contact Chris Rink at 757-864-6786, or by e-mail at chris.rink@nasa.gov, by noon on the day of the talk for credentials and entry to the Center.

That same evening at 7:30, Vass will host a similar presentation for the general public at the Virginia Air & Space Center in downtown Hampton. This Sigma Series event is free and no reservations are required.

Ocean operations and data collection has historically been done with expensive ships, buoys, and satellite systems. Vass' company, Liquid Robotics has combined a wave energy propulsion system, robotics, micro and nano sensors, cloud computing, wireless communications, GPS, and smart phone computing technology to gather information from harsh offshore environments. The technology can also be used to provide maritime security.

Vass will explain the technology that allows robots to operate independently for years at sea by harvesting all their energy from the environment. He will also focus on how the technology is changing current business models and the future of marine robotic systems. Vass' customers include the energy, shipping, environmental, intelligence, communications, scientific, fisheries, and defense markets.

Before he was the chief executive officer of Liquid Robotics Incorporated, Vass was the president and CEO of Sun Microsystems Federal. He served as chief information officer of Sun Microsystems, as well as Sun's chief information security officer.

Prior to Sun, Vass worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense Office of the Chief Information Officer as well as the Pentagon's information technology area, managing networks, servers and applications across the defense networks. He was the technical lead for the entire Department of Defense Y2K program, and was their representative to the U.S. Congress, the White House, and other nations. Prior to joining the Chief Information Office, Vass was chief technology officer and technical lead for the U.S. Army personnel systems worldwide.

Before the Department of Defense, Vass developed large-scale information technology engineering and business systems solutions for the oil and gas industry, defense systems integrators and ocean engineering.

For more information about NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series Lectures, visit:

shemesh.larc.nasa.gov/Lectures

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