November 30, 2012
RoboTuna: Bringing Justice to the American Coastline
By Joe Cermele
Coming to theaters this Christmas: "RoboFish." Hooked off the coast of North Carolina and released half-dead, this is the story of how one tuna became the ultimate cyborg killing machine programmed with only one mission...destroy every sportfishing boat in the ocean.
If that were a real movie trailer, I'd be buying a ticket. Actually, the real story of this robotic bluefin isn't too far off. Dubbed BioSwimmer, the unmanned underwater vehicle is the Department of Homeland Security's latest toy. And according to this story on the website of the Daily Mail, it will "safeguard the coastline of America and bring justice to the deep." That's a tag line Stan Lee would be proud of.
BioSwimmer was modeled after a tuna because their body shape allows them to maneuver far more gracefully in rough water conditions than many other species. If you've ever caught a tuna or seen them chasing bait, you know their speed and agility is poetry in motion. So does BioSwimmer have lasers and a torpedo tube? Not yet. While a school of these tuna might be working for the military down the road, right now the one-and-only prototype is being used for inspecting oil tanker hulls from underwater. Homeland Security plans to use BioSwimmers to patrol harbors and around piers in the near future.
Take a look at the video clip below and tell me the swimming action of this robot isn't amazing. Have a great weekend.