US Navy reveals plans for autonomous ‘robot battleships’

The US Navy and researchers from Florida Atlantic University have revealed plans to develop autonomous robotic ‘drone battleships’ that can launch underwater and aerial attacks in order to protect US coasts.
Last month, FAU was awarded $1.25 million by US Navy for research for unmanned marine vehicle platforms. 
The five-year project will undertake research in support of autonomous marine vehicle platforms for coastal surveillance, coastal surveys, target tracking and protection of at-sea assets.
‘Our focus will be on developing a multi-vehicle system that can safely and reliably navigate coastal waters with a high level of autonomy while performing assigned tasks,’ said Manhar Dhanak, director of SeaTech, the Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering in FAU’s Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering.
The researchers plan to develop new software to better improve multi-sensors and collision avoidance, as well as simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM).
The ‘motherships’ will also serve as a ‘docking station’ for submarines and aerial drones.
‘Fostering collaborative partnerships in scientific research is essential to ensuring that the United States remains at the forefront of innovation and technology,’ said Stella N. Batalama, Ph.D., dean of FAU’s College of Engineering and Computer Science. 

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