U.S. Navy Unveils Robotic Shark Drone as Latest Weapon
The U.S. Navy has officially completed testing for the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) called the GhostSwimmer, which is essentially a drone that looks and acts like a shark. Called "the latest in a series of science-fiction-turned-reality projects" developed by the Navy, Ghostswimmer is one of many projects that explores the possibilities of biomimicry in weapons technology.
The drone, which is approximately five feet, can navigate depths of as little as 10 inches to 300 feet. It has a long-lasting battery that it can use for longer missions if necessary, but usually it's controlled by a laptop attached to it by a 500-foot tether. Its resemblance to a large fish, as well as its ability to operate autonomously for long periods of time, makes it an ideal candidate for stealth surveillance.
"It swims just like a fish does by oscillating its tail fin back and forth," said Ghostswimmer engineer Michael Rufo. "The unit is a combination of unmanned systems engineering and unique propulsion and control capabilities."
It's unclear whether the drone will be used solely for reconnaissance missions or whether it will be attached with weapons, nor is there any word on whether it will be outfitted with lasers, Austin Powers-style.