If you were modeling an autonomous seafaring drone after an aquatic animal, the you’re probably considering creatures like the shark, the barracuda, and the jellyfish. But it turns our that the Bluefish Tuna is an extremely efficient swimmer, and a perfect model for submarines. The BIOSwimmer, built by Boston Engineering and funded by the Department of Homeland Security, is a unmanned underwater vehicle designed to resemble a tuna, in a process called biomemetrics. Its main defense purpose will be inspecting assets in harsh situations: ascertain whether pumps are working in oily water, inspect harbors and piers for bombs and explore flooded ships, and other security missions.
BIOswimmer is battery powered, and it’s remote controlled from a laptop. There’s some pretty powerful processing going on under the hull as well, and it can be equipped with several different kinds of payloads (usually sensors.) I, for one, wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of whatever this fishy robot deals out.
Take a look at the tuna-esque submarine in the beginning part of this video.