The Department of Homeland Security has created a new weapon for the war on terror, modeled after a tuna.
According to a report from Daily Mail, the BioSwimmer is an underwater, unmanned vehicle developed by Boston Engineering Corporation’s Advanced Systems Group. The robot features great maneuverability, which allows it to get into places that something bigger or less nimble wouldn’t be able to reach, the article says. However, instead of being just an underwater bomb-diffusing robot, the BioSwimmer can also go out on underwater patrols and perform searches or inspections of underwater equipment.
But, why a tuna? According to David Taylor, program manager for the project, the answer is in biomimetics – the study of basing designs of machines on designs of nature, following the notion that biological creatures that have survived in nature must be doing something right. The tuna has had millions of years to adapt to an underwater environment, Daily Mail reports, and the fish provide a good blueprint for the underwater surveillance drone.
Unlike the tuna, however, the BioSwimmer can move in high viscosity fluids, such as oil, and can be controlled via laptop or operate on its own, the article says. The “fish” also comes equipped with a long-lasting battery, as well as sensors and communications equipment to report findings back to home base.