"The oceans remain vastly under-monitored," said Gabriel Bousquet, an MIT postdoc who led the design of a unique robot as part of his graduate thesis. "In particular, it's very important to understand the Southern Ocean and how it is interacting with climate change. But it's very hard to get there." Bousquet and his team designed a hybrid vehicle that can both fly above tumultuous seas and sail on them when things are calmer. The vehicle uses one-third as much wind as an albatross would and travels ten times faster than a typical sailboat, making for a very efficient way to survey the vast areas of the planet's seas.