If you saw a fish swimming in the lakes or rivers or the sea, chances are you probably wouldn’t think twice about it being there. We can only assume that is one of the reasons why a couple of decades ago, the CIA actually created a robotic catfish, which they called Charlie, and used it for intel gathering operations.
Not much is known about Charlie the Catfish robot at this point in time as details of its missions are still classified. However, what we do know about it is that for at least one of its purposes, it was used to collect water samples in an area. The robot was controlled using a line-of-sight radio handset and as you can see in the video above, it actually looks somewhat realistic if you’re not paying too much attention.
It’s not surprising that the CIA would choose a robot shaped like a fish for its operations. After all, there have been many instances where man-made technology has been inspired by nature. We’ve come across tons of examples in the past, like robots designed to swim like jellyfish, and robotic tunas made by Homeland Security to help protect American harbors.
It is unclear if the CIA might have already retired Charlie the Catfish, but given that they have published some of its information and a video about it, they probably have.