From a distance it looks like a fish; it moves like a fish, but it’s an underwater spy vehicle used by the Navy to mimic the look and movements of a large fish.
The drone, a robot called GhostSwimmer, is the latest development from the Navy’s Silent Nemo project which seeks to develop unmanned, biometric vehicles for use underwater.
Since it doesn’t use a propeller to move like most submarine robots, it will be harder to detect when it is being used to spy in enemy waters, or patrol American maritime borders.
GhostSwimmer uses fins and a tail to move quietly through the water just like a real fish.
“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,” said project lead, Jerry Lademan.
At approximately five feet long and almost 100 pounds, the robot is capable of operating at depths up to 300 feet. The prototype was tested successfully last week at the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia.
It can be remotely controlled by a joystick, or programmed to swim by itself.