Watch: Navy’s Robot Boats can Identify Enemies and Communicate With Each Other

Robotics
Watch: Navy’s Robot Boats can Identify Enemies and Communicate With Each Other Red Arrows Flying Over HMS Diamond from Defence Images / Flickr with CC BY 2.0

The military already has autonomous systems such as unmanned surveillance drones and robotic tanks. Now, the U.S. decided it is time to extend the same level of advanced tech to its navy. Therefore, they have introduced robot boats that can redefine the future of oceanic warfare.

These automatic boats use a system known as Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing or CARACaS. They are being developed by the U.S. government for a decade now. Back in 2014, the navy took the boats out for a test drive, and they came back with extremely positive results.

Robotic Boats Can Communicate And Determine Threat Levels

They were tasked to protect a single ship. They did so successfully. This was done by calculating the coverage area and determining the right strategy and tactics to use. A technique best demonstrated by the CARACaS vessels is the interchange of valuable information.

Timely relaying intelligence is considered one of the basic rules of navy training. The boats not only acquire information for human supervisors but also sniff out malicious vessels in an approaching fleet. As a result, they are able to do so by sensory tech bestowed upon them.

CARACaS To Make Sailors Safer

These boats can access a number of databases to cross-check vessels it encounters. If it deems a vessel hostile, the boat can use either non-lethal or lethal maneuvers to nudge it out of its path.

“Future versions of these systems will be armed with non-lethal weapons that could shut down the engines of the targeted boat, and even lethal weapons that could be remotely operated by humans from afar,” said military analyst Peter Singer, reported Wired.

However, there is still a long way to go before the navy starts relying on these automatic boats. For now, these vessels are solely being used to survey vast masses of water. Otherwise, the task would have to be undertaken by a crew of sailors and patrol boats.

Such defensive drill was conducted in the Chesapeake Bay in recent times, with excellent results, as reported by ONR. “The autonomy technology we are developing for our Sailors and Marines is versatile enough that it will assist them in performing many different missions, and it will help keep them safer,” said Dr. Robert Brizzolara.

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