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Boeing to acquire ocean drone maker Liquid Robotics

Boeing Co. will acquire floating-drone maker Liquid Robotics, the aerospace giant said Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Based in Sunnyvale, Liquid Robotics developed the Wave Glider, a surfboard-shaped drone that floats on the ocean surface and collects data, propelling itself for up to a year using wave and solar power.

In 2014, Liquid Robotics formed a partnership with Boeing to integrate Boeing’s advanced sensors onto a military version of the Wave Glider called SHARC — the Sensor Hosting Autonomous Remote Craft. 

Boeing said it sees the SHARC as a way to connect intelligence-gathering efforts between underwater vehicles, aircraft and satellites.

Liquid Robotics’ headquarters will remain in Sunnyvale, though the company will be part of Boeing’s autonomous systems unit, which is based in St. Louis. The company has 100 employees, mostly in California and some in Hawaii.

samantha.masunaga@latimes.com

For more business news, follow me @smasunaga

An earlier version of this article stated that Boeing and Liquid Robotics partnered to develop the SHARC. The two companies partnered only to integrate Boeing's sensors onto the SHARC.
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