Robocod: Homeland Security adds underwater drones to their arsenal with robots based on fish

Daniel Miller – Daily Mail nov 28, 2012

Meet Robocod, the latest weapon in Homeland Security’s increasingly high-tech underwater arsenal, a robotic fish designed to safeguard the coastline of America and bring justice to the deep.

Well almost.

The new robot, named BioSwimmer, is actually based not on a cod but a tuna which is said to have the ideal natural shape for an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).

Its ultra-flexible body coupled with mechanical fins and tail allow it to dart around the water just like a real fish even in the harshest of environments.

And while it does have a number of security applications, this high maneuverability makes it perfectly suited for accessing hard-to-reach places such as flooded areas of ships, sea chests and parts of oil tankers.

Other potential missions include inspecting and protecting harbors and piers, performing area searches and military applications.

BioSwimmer uses the latest battery technology for long-duration operation and boasts an array of navigation, sensor processing, and communications equipment designed for constricted spaces.

It is being developed by Boston Engineering Corporation’s Advanced Systems Group (ASG) basesd in Waltham, Massachusetts.

David Taylor, program manager for the project at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security told Fox News: ‘It’s all about distilling the science. It’s called ‘biomimetics.

‘We’re using nature as a basis for design and engineering a system that works exceedingly well.

‘Tuna have had millions of years to develop their ability to move in the water with astounding efficiency. Hopefully we won’t take that long.’

BioSwimmer is also capable of operating in high viscocity fluids such as crude oil, which could make it a valuable tool for off-shore drilling operations.

It can be controlled by an operator using a laptop computer but is also being designed to function autonomously.

AGS Director Mike Rufo added: ‘It’s designed to support a variety of tactical missions and with its interchangeable sensor payloads and reconfigurable Operator Controls, and can be optimized on a per-mission basis.’

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