Autonomous Boats Are Helping The Navy Swarm On Threats

I rarely like to focus on military robots but this video is fascinating. It talks about the SWARM program, a system for controlling multiple boats in a body of water and ensuring they don’t crash into each other and can easily swarm on another ship as needed. These boats, which are connected via software called Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing, can be armed but a human has to give the order to fire.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the boats are currently in action with the Navy and can warn boats away from controlled areas.

Once the fleet zeroed in on the threatening vessel with radar and infrared sensors, some of the escort boats broke away and quickly encircled it. They flashed lights and blasted warnings through loudspeakers. Threat resolved.

It’s a fascinating tool and a direct extension of this robot that is going to sail around the world autonomously. The more humans we get out of the way of danger the better, I suppose, and this is one way to do it.