The U.S. Navy has developed an unmanned underwater robot that looks and moves like a blue fin tuna.
The robot is a result of Project Silent Nemo, which tested the prototype at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia on Thursday. The fish can be controlled with a joystick or be programmed to swim on its own.
Project engineers tell the Virginian-Pilot newspaper that the model is attractive because, by mimicking the evolved motions of a real fish rather than propelling itself through the water with a propeller like most submersibles, Nemo moves extremely quietly. The hope is Nemo will be able to sneak into enemy waters more effectively and patrol undetected in American waters.
“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.