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Military developing unmanned underwater vehicles, including eels

The US military is developing unmanned underwater vehicles for use in reconnaissance and military operations, including eel drones
By: Michael Hatamoto | Science, Space & Robotics News | Posted: Dec 10, 2014 12:27 pm

Researchers from Singapore have demonstrated a unique robotic eel that is able to travel through the water in a similar fashion as a real eel. The prototype is able to move quietly and could become an excellent stealth tool to sneak up on ships and other water-based vehicles.




Militaries are interested in using underwater robots to help conduct research, map the sea floor, check for mines, and other operations. The eel robot should prove to be adaptable to varying environments, such as hulls, reefs, and other geological formations.


"Anguilliform [eel like] fish consume less energy when on a long distance journey than regular autonomous underwater vehicles," said Jianxin Xu, a researcher from Singapore, in a statement to Defense One. "They are highly maneuverable and flexible, making them more suitable than Gliders for navigation... they're less detectable than robot subs that propel themselves the same way as conventional subs."


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