US Navy team has been carrying out tests at Joint Expeditionary Base East in Virginia Beach with a device that is known as ‘GhostSwimmer’ and looks like a shark. It has been developed as part of the NEMO project of Navy that is working to create unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) inspired from nature at Boston Engineering.
The GhostSwimmer is 1.5 meters long and weighs about 45kg. It has been described as a robot, which mimics the shape and swinging-tail-driven style of swimming that is similar to a ‘large fish’. The robo-shark is capable of working in depths that range from 10 inches to 300 ft. It can be controlled via a laptop with a 152-meter tether or can operate autonomously on its own through the on-board sensors and a long endurance battery. When in tethered mode, the robot can provide live video feed and other real-time data. However, when in autonomous mode, the data is recorded and collected, transmitted when it resurfaces or has to be collected manually.
The propulsion method of this robot imparts stealth to its movement while the appearance is also quite good at camouflaging. This would allow it to carry out intelligence tasks along with surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. However, as per the Navy, GhostSwimmer can also be used for more friendly operations such as hull inspection. During the tests at Virginia, it was used for gathering data on varied currents, tides, weather conditions and wakes. Watch the video below to know more!