NEW YORK: Robot fish looks like a fish and swims like a fish but it’s a robot, fresh from the labs of the U.S. military. Navy officials in Virginia say they have completed tests on a new, underwater drone that is roughly the size and shape of a tuna. Known as GhostSwimmer, the 1.5-metre, 45-kilogram drone is part of a larger project to develop “biomimetic, unmanned underwater vehicles.”
It swims just like a fish does by oscillating its tail fin back and forth,” Michael Rufo, director of Boston Engineering’s Advanced Systems Group, which built the drone, said in a statement. GhostSwimmer can operate autonomously or by remote control, via a 150-metre tether, at depths of up to 91 metres, according to the navy, and is quieter than a propeller-driven drone. It has already been used to gather data on tides and weather conditions, and could also be used for surveillance missions, hull inspections and dealing with underwater mines, officials said.