The underwater drone Ghostswimmer is a biomimetic device that mimics billions of years of evolution, by posing as a shark.
Its the result of Project ‘Silent NEMO’ carried out by the United States Navy Office of Naval Research. The robo-fish is designed to swim into enemy territory, and to guard the hulls of US boats.
Wired reports: The new gizmo, at five feet long and nearly 100 pounds, is about the size of an albacore tuna but looks more like a shark, at least from a distance. It’s part of an experiment to explore the possibilities of using biomimetic, unmanned, underwater vehicles, and the Navy announced it wrapped up testing of the design last week.
The robot uses its tail for propulsion and control, like a real fish. It can operate in water as shallow as 10 inches or dive down to 300 feet. It can be controlled remotely via a 500-foot tether, or swim independently, periodically returning to the surface to communicate. Complete with dorsal and pectoral fins, the robofish is stealthy too: It looks like a fish and moves like a fish, and, like other underwater vehicles, is difficult to spot even if you know to look for it.
Down the line, it could be used for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, when it’s not assigned to more mundane tasks like inspecting the hulls of friendly ships.
Animal lovers will be glad to hear that the GhostSwimmer could take the jobs of the bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions the Navy currently trains to spot underwater mines and recover equipment.
Youtube video by: IKINAWANA
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