Unmanned drones are all the rage at the moment but drones are not limited to the skies, take for example the US Navy’s latest technological breakthrough Silent Nemo the robotic spy fish, also known as the Ghost Swimmer.
Modeled after a blue fin tuna Silent Nemo the Ghost Swimmer looks like a normal fish, swims like a normal fish but he is in fact a semi autonomous water bound drone, but he’s not destined to become sushi as his living siblings are. Like a living tuna Silent Nemo is able to make tight turns and move through the water silently even though he is over 5 feet long and weighs a tad less than 50 kilograms. It turns out that a flapping tale is ten times quieter than a propeller, perfect for sneaking up on your water borne enemy.
Controlled via game controller and laptop over a 500 foot long tether Silent Nemo isn’t able to wonder too far from home but he can swim to depths of over 300 feet, all the while filming and transmitting information back to base.
The Ghost Swimmer is under testing at the moment by the Chief of Naval Operations – Rapid Innovation Cell (what about robot fish with lasers?) and Boston Engineering in the waters of the Joint Expeditionary Base at Little Creek, all going well Silent Nemo could go into service as soon as next year. Here at Highpants we’re wondering what happened to the trained Dolphin Program (U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program – NMMP), looks like we ARE ALL going to be replaced by robots!