US Navy has already tested their swarming robot boats that can assume attack formations in an autonomous manner. However, this time around, the military has adopted a more inconspicuous scope in the form of the Silent Nemo (yes, that’s the original code name). This project in question entails a 5-ft long robotic spy fish supported by the advanced tech of bio-mimicry.
Developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and tested by US Navy’s Rapid Innovation Cell, the 100-lb weighing Silent Nemo supposedly mimics the physical attributes of a bluefin tuna (as opposed to Pixar’s clown fish). To that end, the robotic mechanism exhibits a rubbery-looking skin and a black dorsal fin that projects above the water level. This is complemented by the subtle rear-tail movement, which allows the fish to make its way silently (yet organically) across the water.
As a matter of fact, the military is banking on this convincing degree of bio-mimicry that might just surprise the enemies. And the best practical part is – the Silent Nemo can be controlled by both a joystick or just programmed to function in an autonomous manner. This is what Jerry Lademan, a Marine captain who is leading the project, had to say about the design –
This is an attempt to take thousands of years of evolution – what has been perfected since the dawn of time – and try to incorporate that into a mechanical device. The idea is to essentially reverse-engineer what nature has already done.
Finally, coming the envisioned list of purposes to be served by the Silent Nemo (also known as GhostSwimmer), the reticently guileful robot will be primarily used to patrol harbors or even make forays intro enemy-controlled water bodies. Moreover, the cunning contraption can also be instrumental in detecting sea mines and inspecting the inaccessible parts of the damaged sea hulls.
Check the video to see the Silent Nemo in action: