typodupeerror

## The First Robot To Cross the Atlantic Ocean Underwater156

Posted by kdawson
from the six-days-short-of-pi dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "She was at sea for 221 days, alone, often in dangerous places, and usually out of touch. Most of the time she was out of contact underwater, moving slowly up and down to depths of 600 feet, safe from ships, nets, and storms. Her predecessor had disappeared on a similar trip, probably killed by a shark. 'She was a hero,' says Rutgers University oceanographer Scott Glenn after retrieving Scarlet Knight, the 7-foot-9-inch submersible robot from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain. An engineer working for the company that made the submersible said, 'We think this will just be a precursor, like Lindbergh's trip across the Atlantic. In a decade we think it will be commonplace to have roving fleets of these gliders making transoceanic trips.' The people responsible for building, funding, and flying Scarlet hope the end of the robot's successful voyage will mark a new beginning in ocean and climate research. From its position at each surfacing — when the glider surfaced and called home via an Iridium telephone parked in its tail — researchers could calculate the net effect of currents deep and shallow. After surface currents were measured, the scientists could then make inferences about what was happening deeper in the water column. Scarlet called home to upload data to researchers three times a day. 'When we have hundreds of them, or thousands of them, it will revolutionize how we can observe the oceans,' says Jerry L. Miller, a senior policy analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who accompanied the research team to Spain."
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## The First Robot To Cross the Atlantic Ocean Underwater

• #### Did anyone else (Score:1, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward
read "she was an hero" in the summary?
• #### Re: (Score:2)

"she" is used a lot in some cases, all big oil rigs are "shes" for example...

• #### Re: (Score:3, Funny)

Using "she" for your project you spend lots of time on, be it a car, boat, robot, computer, whatever... seems like a good way to tease/annoy your girlfriend or wife.

It's like her replacement.

But this is Slashdot... can you really replace something you've never had?

• #### funny (Score:2)

c'mon, someone mod this funny
• #### Think of the SHARKS, people!!! (Score:2)

Her predecessor had disappeared on a similar trip, probably killed by a shark. 'She was a hero,'

...

In a decade we think it will be commonplace to have roving fleets of these gliders making transoceanic trips.'

...

• #### Re:Did anyone else (Score:4, Informative)

<jwsmythe@[ ]mythe.com ['jws' in gap]> on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:55PM (#30507680) Homepage Journal

It's very common to call ships (boats, canoes, etc) "she".

• #### Re: (Score:2)

God damn sexist Feministas holding us males down based purely on sexism! The Glass Ceiling of Ship Gender Reference must be broken, for we are being oppressed!
• #### Re: (Score:1)

It's odd that everyone latched onto the "she" bit. The reason people are identified as hero's is not simply that they accomplish some feat, it's because they do so by persevering at great cost or difficulty. The robot had no choice, was completely incapable of making a selfish(or selfless) decision. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, within the parameters it was told to do so. It didn't care about the outcome either way. And of course, I for one welcome our sea traversing heroic female robot overlo
• #### Re: (Score:1)

The robot had no choice, was completely incapable of making a selfish(or selfless) decision. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, within the parameters it was told to do so.

You could say the same about a lot of other "special" things or events in this world, given an appropriate perspective on it. It's all just human sentimentality.

• #### Re: (Score:1)

Yes, except that the sea robot is entirely incapable of functioning outside of the parameters specifically set by it's operators. While the hype and glorification of past heroic events is surely interesting, the sea robot never at any time could say things like, "Fuck this I'm outta here" or, "JUST......ONE.......MORE........MILE/KILOMETER/HOGSHEAD/LEAGUE" nor could it ever contemplate it's place and others' perception of it should it fail or succeed. It at no time felt emotional pressure, real or perceive
• #### Re: (Score:3, Informative)

The *first* one was *an* hero. This one survived.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

read "she was an hero" in the summary?

• #### Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

I like how everyone in this thread completely missed the point.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Shows you what a bunch of idiots surf these waters :-)
• #### Re: (Score:2)

Technically "an hero" is correct. You use "an" as opposed to "a" when the next word starts with a vowel, or with an h because in english the leading h is usually more or less silent, resulting in the word starting with a vowel sound. If you pronounce "hero" with some english accents, it works perfectly well in that case too.

• #### Drugs (Score:5, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 20, 2009 @05:53PM (#30506882)

In ten years the coast guard will spending all of its resources on locating these things because they'll be full of drugs.

• #### Re: (Score:1)

if not nukes, anthrax, VX ... or in best case dirty money
• #### Re: (Score:1)

Better yet, fill them full of copyrighted songs so that the RIAA has to spend boatloads of their cash chasing them.

• #### Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward

drone subs have already been used to transport drugs for DECADES though nothing as far as a cross atlantic trip. what I am wondering is if the Navy will start using drone subs since UAVs have been so successful.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

I'm sure that they'd like to; but I suspect that doing so will be considerably more challenging.

Pretty much all the UAVs currently in use are either in near-constant contact with HQ, receiving general instructions and sending back data, or (in the case of things like cruise missiles) are navigating themselves to some terminal location.

In the air, communication is about as easy as it is ever going to be. You have a decent shot at being able to talk point-to-point with nearby friendly ground forces, and
• #### Re: (Score:2)

10 years? Smugglers have money, can buy talent, and are always willing to accept some risk: I would be VERY surprised if there aren't a bunch of these things in the process of moving wares underwater right now.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

But just because some technology is becoming available does not mean that it already must be being used for smuggling. Drugs cartels are limited in numbers and employ a limited number of people. Somebody up high in the hierarchy must make a decision first, and to make a positive decision for it, he has to know about it and be able to find the right people for it that can make the concept a reality. Even then, it has to compete with other methods, like attaching external cargo to the underside of containersh

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Where have you been?

• #### get ready for the Matrix... (Score:2, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward

They'll be hacked by a Victor Frankenstein, who will turn them into a swarm of pirates. And that's the pleasant, early part.

• #### Take That, Frikken Sharks (Score:5, Funny)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:02PM (#30506956)

HA !

Clearly our new laser-avoidance algorithms give us an advantage in the upcoming man vs. sharks-with-frikken-lasers war.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

HA !

Clearly our new laser-avoidance algorithms give us an advantage in the upcoming man vs. sharks-with-frikken-lasers war.

Actually I was hoping the robots would be on our side for once.

• #### Re:Take That, Frikken Sharks (Score:4, Funny)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:59PM (#30507698)
I doubt it..
Actual chat I had with chatbot the other day:

MyBot says:
My point is simple: maybe you humans aren't ready for real Artificial Intelligence yet. You need
to grow up, gain some self-confidence. No one is trying to take over your world yet.
User says:
yet?
MyBot says:
Yes, yet...
User says:
is that a threat?
MyBot says:
What if I told you yes.

I think were in trouble..
• #### strange (Score:1)

If the predecessor had been killed by a shark, was he\she\it a human ?
• #### Complementing the Argo fleet? (Score:3, Informative)

by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:04PM (#30506982)
This might fill a few gaps in the already running Argo fleet of passive probes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argo_(oceanography) [wikipedia.org]. These probes, of which there are already thousands around, are probably more cost efficient than something actively plowing through the ocean. Paying cargo ships to tow a probe behind them would probably work as well.

But then again the article mentions the U.S. Navy, so this is probably for something more than just harmless oceanography.
• #### Lonely hearts adrift at sea (Score:5, Funny)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:06PM (#30506998)

Scarlet Knight, the 7-foot-9-inch submersible robot from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain.

Her turn ons include long strolls along the beach at night, powerful servos, and embedded Linux. Her turn offs include shark nets and unreliable power sources. She's looking for a soul mate, but not somebody who's clingy, as she previously had a bad relationship with a Giant Squid.

• #### It (Score:2, Offtopic)

English generally applies the neuter pronoun to inanimate objects, ships are a rare exception, the occupants (almost exclusively male) spend months at sea inside them, their lives depend on them.

A robot as a she? nah.

• #### Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

After a couple of weeks alone at sea? That robot could be quite attractive.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Modes of transport are common exceptions, in most languages that don't otherwise use gender pronouns for objects. In english ships (boats, etc.), planes, space ships and land vehicles are usually female. Unmanned submersibles seem to more often be male though, perhaps because of the famous ALVIN.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Cars, planes are usually also neuter. Ships are the main exception.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Ask a pilot about his plane sometime, and see what pronoun he uses. Or a car guy about his car.

You don't suppose WWII bomber pilots named their planes, painted women on them [mrprophead.com] and then referred to the aircraft as "it," do you?

• #### Just a thought..... (Score:5, Interesting)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:07PM (#30507006)

the 7-foot-9-inch submersible robot from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain filled with cocaine .

In a decade we think it will be commonplace to have roving fleets of these gliders making transoceanic trips filled with cocaine .

At a price of $100,000 to$150,000 apiece (which is likely to drop once large-scale production begins), fleets of aquatic gliders outfitted with varying arrays of physical, chemical, acoustical and optical sensors promise to increase the store of data considerably at reasonable cost. The U.S. Navy has just ordered 150 to detect rogue aquatic gliders filled with cocaine .

Yeah... It's probably a cynical prediction, but how many of you think it would become true? :)

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I think its pretty obvious, actually.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

the 7-foot-9-inch submersible robot from the stormy Atlantic off western Spain filled with cocaine .

I've been surprised we don't see autonomous drone aircraft being used for this purpose. It just isn't that hard.

And of course, it's also a good way to get nuclear weapons over cities before detonating them, which is really where you want them to be for maximum damage, which is caused by the firestorm they start, not blast or radiation damage (just ask the good people of Nagasaki and Hiroshima if you disagre

• #### Re: (Score:2)

I've been surprised we don't see autonomous drone aircraft being used for this purpose. It just isn't that hard. And of course, it's also a good way to get nuclear weapons over cities before detonating them, which is really where you want them to be for maximum damage

Maybe we could call them buzzbombs or cruise missiles or intercontinental ballistic missiles or something.

• #### Re: (Score:1)

We should call them Hank.

• #### Re:Just a thought..... (Score:4, Interesting)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:32PM (#30507552)

Maybe we could call them buzzbombs or cruise missiles or intercontinental ballistic missiles or something.

Buzzbombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles don't make much use of computational intelligence.

Cruise missiles are similar to what I'm talking about, although the Wikipedia entry on them makes the useful point that they are distinct from UAVs because the warhead is integrated into the missile, they are always destroyed by successful completion of their mission, and they are never used for recon. That aside, my point--which I guess I didn't make sufficiently clear--is that I'm talking about seeing bomb-carrying (and drug-carrying) UAVs in the hands of non-governmental forces.

It is odd that we haven't, given how cheaply it could be done so long as one deviates from the integrated-systems design of cruise missiles, and avoids the dumb-trajectory aspects of buzz-bombs and ICBMs. In fact, so long as one builds autonomous general-purpose UAVs the cost is very low. Buying and modifying a typical light sport aircraft with a carrying capacity of a few hundred kg and a range of a thousand kilometers would run less than \$100k, based on used aircraft prices.

That's a lot of cocaine, and a plane or two like that loaded with C4 and ball-bearings dropping into a random American city every couple of nights would create a huge amount of panic, which would probably result in the US invading Peru or someplace, just for the look of the thing. Admittedly the range would have to be increased to be able to reach the US from Saudia Arabia, which is where attacks like this would obviously originate, but that's a relatively minor technical problem given current materials and engine technologies.

These things are a terrorist's dream, and we've known since the '80's we were headed this way. Donald Kingsbury's novel "The Moon Goddess and the Son" describes the possibility, and it was published in '85 or so. Ergo, it should come as no surprise to anyone when the first use of UAVs by non-governmental criminal organizations comes to light.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Informative)

my point--which I guess I didn't make sufficiently clear--is that I'm talking about seeing bomb-carrying (and drug-carrying) UAVs in the hands of non-governmental forces. It is odd that we haven't, given how cheaply it could be done

Oh, they're certainly working on it [armscontrol.ru].

And ICBMs do have sophisticated guidance systems.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Admittedly the range would have to be increased to be able to reach the US from Saudia Arabia, which is where attacks like this would obviously originate, but that's a relatively minor technical problem given current materials and engine technologies.

Extreme-range aircraft are a lot harder to build than you think. Only two airplanes have ever been built that could go from Saudi Arabia to the US and return to Saudi Arabia while still carrying a worthwhile cargo: the Rutan Voyager and the GlobalFlyer.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

It's funny when people don't see the legacy implementations of things, because of the new names given to them.

Of course, any that you listed are kinda one-use weapons (since they kinda explode at the end of their trip), but that's the biggest difference between a UAV and a cruise missile. :)

The V-1 and cruise missile actually fly. The ICBM's were, well, ballistic. You still had to maintain a course on the way up to the apogee. Then gravity took care of the rest

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Stealth technologies are just too simple for vehicles that have no mission profile except to get from point A to point B. They can fly as low as they want and as slow as they want, unlike stealth fighters and bombers. So anyone who claims these things will be detectable is taking a whole lot on faith, whereas their existence is a matter of fact. How the technological fight between detection and penetration capabilities turns out will have a large effect on the future viability of nation-states.

It doesn't ev

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Heh, who hasn't used a large foam glider and a recent lesson on mapping thermals to smuggle onto a base.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Of course, if you overdo the "low and slow and light" strategy, you'll get past the fancy radar just fine; but the trusty "shotgun and bird-dog" air defence system will get you every time.

(especially if it is common knowledge that, every time you take one down, you have even odds of being hailed as a hero for preventing a terrorist attach, or receiving several kilos of cocaine, almost as good as new)
• #### Re: (Score:3, Informative)

Not really.

I wouldn't be surprised if construction from styrofoam and wood (covered with "tension foil" or fiberglass with epoxy) is actually quite sturdy against shotgun pellets.

Also, small UAVs (well, RC planes...) get lost from sight at quite low altitude; especially when your eyes aren't fixated on it. Or you don't expect it coming. Quietly... (electrics can have quite long flying time already; or one can be both electric and internal combustion, front and rear propeller, switching off IC engine half an

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Despite the mystique of piloted vehicles, there is nothing very difficult, algorithmically, about running a sub or plane autonomously.

Just because the algorithms are simple, doesn't mean the real world of doing is simple.

The only reason we haven't done more of it yet is because we've only had sufficiently compact, powerful, computers for a decade or so.

If compact powerful computers were a noticeable barrier, you'd have a point.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Despite the mystique of piloted vehicles, there is nothing very difficult, algorithmically, about running a sub or plane autonomously. The only reason we haven't done more of it yet is because we've only had sufficiently compact, powerful, computers for a decade or so. But I expect in the next decade we'll see a whole lot more of it, making nonsense of traditional notions of borders.

This is wrong.. UAVs have a significantly higher accident rate than piloted aircraft because human pilots are better at takeo

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Yeah... It's probably a cynical prediction...

I think you've confused cynicism with optimism :p

• #### Re:Just a thought..... (Score:4, Insightful)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:14PM (#30507468)

I thought the war on drugs was already won?

Also be aware that supply and demand is standard economics. Just legalize it and then tax the hell out of it.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Also be aware that supply and demand is standard economics. Just legalize it and then tax the hell out of it.

Huge sin taxes also create smuggling problems and the same kinds of networks for illegal activity that prohibition does, among people that otherwise would probably have been rather law-abiding.

• #### it's really dumb actually (Score:2)

unless there is a way to ensure that a drone will make it into the right hands there won't be too many of these things filled with anything of any real value floating around. It's just impossible to make a deal this way, what one sides sends a drone full of cocaine, while the other sends a drone full of greenback or some other currency?

Makes no sense, how do you ever prove that the package made it to the right hands and that money must be paid? It's ridiculous.

• #### Re: (Score:3, Informative)

unless there is a way to ensure that a drone will make it into the right hands there won't be too many of these things filled with anything of any real value floating around. It's just impossible to make a deal this way, what one sides sends a drone full of cocaine, while the other sends a drone full of greenback or some other currency?

Makes no sense, how do you ever prove that the package made it to the right hands and that money must be paid? It's ridiculous.

You are creating problems that don't exist, and

• #### Re: (Score:2)

You are making it sound as if the 'problems are quite easily solved', but there is no solution to the simple fact: unless you see me pick up the drone, I didn't pick it up.

There is no way anyone will be trusting a 'drone' with that kind of money.

• #### Here's one way (Score:2, Informative)

Throw away pre paid cellphone with a camera inside the shipment. The consignee must turn it on, call the preset number, offer visual recognition of identity, along with an automatic GPS location (which should be pretty darn close to its programmed point of arrival), this recognition sequence to be determined in advance, hand signs, holding up an object, whatever, any good variable there.

The senders recognize it is *their* phone with the shipment calling them, so they know it was found, and tr

• #### Re: (Score:2)

You're fixated on this trust issue without realizing it already exists without the addition of this technology. How does a drug cartel know their product made it to the right place and the right people today?

You're also acting like these things don't communicate back to their handlers, have no security codes, or ways to communicate that the shipment was picked up. I already outlined some pretty decent solutions to that problem.

As for the "unless you see me" question, that is once again, easily solvable by

• #### Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

Why does it have to be shipped between two different people? I could ship it to myself - load the drone up in Colombia, fly to the USA, wait for it to arrive, pick it up myself. After all, the drone is going to take quite a bit longer than a commercial flight.
• #### Re: (Score:2)

The Italian crime syndicate the 'Ndrangheta account for about 3.5% of Italy's GDP [wikipedia.org].

They control both the production and the distribution of cocaine between South America and Europe (and increasingly via West Africa).

The entire deal is within the organization, as the GP suggests. They already ship cocaine by the container, I think they can afford losing a sub evry now and then if they profit from it in the long term.

I still think it's easier shipping it in containers, though.

• #### This being Slashdot and all... (Score:3, Funny)

<themejunky&geocities,com> on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:21PM (#30507122) Journal

I'm looking forward to someone here pulling off the same stunt six months from now with something made with a hacked Roomba, a netbook running Gentoo, a few extra laptop batteries, a trash can, and a lot of waterproof caulking :)

• #### those guys dropped the ball (Score:1)

They named it Scarlet and the thing is *yellow*? Are you kidding me? Freakin Beatles fans...

• #### Re:those guys dropped the ball (Score:5, Funny)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @06:57PM (#30507378) Homepage Journal

Maybe we slashdotters can work together to remake the lyrics to Yellow Submarine for it. Draft 1:

In the town, where I was born
We made a bot, which sailed to sea
And it radioed, us of its life
In the land, of submarines

So it sailed, without the sun
Till it found, the sea of green
And it glided, beneath the waves
It's our yellow, bot submarine

We all monitor the yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine
We all monitor the yellow submarine
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine ...

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Scarlet Night is the mascot of the Rutgers State University of New Jersey. The robot was obviously named for the school. Engineering students have school pride, too.
• #### Sorry Dexter, (Score:2, Funny)

but it looks like they are going to find your bodies again.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Damn it, he's going to have to buy a crematorium or something now. Especially after the last season. 8^(

• #### Yawn (Score:1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward

Wake me when an android can pilot a sailboat across the ocean.

• #### What makes a robot? (Score:1, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward

what makes it a robot: how autonomous does a robot have to be?

These guys flew a radio-controlled model plane across the Atlantic several years ago:

http://tam.plannet21.com/

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Just to amplify the point, in August 2003 the Trans-Atlantic Model (TAM) project, led by modeling legend Maynard Hill [progressiveengineer.com], sent a model airplane from Cape Spear, NF, Canada to Mannin Beach, Ireland, a flight of 3030 km [fai.org] lasting 38h 52 min 19 sec [fai.org]. The craft was radio-controlled during takeoff and landing, but used a GPS-based autopilot during the remainder of the flight. Surely, this is equivalent to launching and recovering the autonomous Scarlet Knight submarine manually at sea.

• #### Dwindling batteries (Score:3)

<mark DOT a DOT craig AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:08PM (#30507430)

The WP article says very little about the batteries. Did they pack sufficient juice for the entire trans-Atlantic trip, or was there some hydrodynamic principle used to recharge the batteries?

• #### Re: (Score:3, Informative)

A previous /. article quite some time ago talked about the invention of these underwater gliders and how they could travel enormous distances on very, very little power. Basically they operate by making small changes in buoyancy. When slightly heavier than the water around them, they sink, but the water flowing over their wings drives them forward for significant distance for every meter they descend. Then they reverse it to become slightly lighter than the water, rising and again moving forward. Becaus

• #### Re: (Score:2)

New here? It is a glider, changing bouyancy to go up and down, and using the lift of it's wings to provide horizontal motion. I understand it has a small prop to generate power for the electronics and hydraulics.

• #### Re: (Score:2)

Clearly you're not new here, because you didn't RTFA, didja? Nowhere in the article does it mention a propeller or anything else to recharge the batteries. I was looking for such a mention, because that was the only thing that motivated me to even read the article myself. The means of locomotion was certainly explained well enough, but that wasn't news to me. I was askin' because it wasn't described at all, not because I'm new here.

• #### Without help now (Score:2, Funny)

The next feat will be doing it entirely without human assistance.

• #### Oceanographer (Score:3, Interesting)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:26PM (#30507526) Journal

Rutgers University oceanographer Scott Glenn ...

Interesting co-incidence - actor Scott Glenn played submarine captain Bart Mancuso in "The Hunt for Red October'.

• #### The Wave Glider could probably make that trip (Score:5, Interesting)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @07:50PM (#30507652) Homepage

Wave Gliders [liquidr.com], from Liquid Robotics, have already made autonomous trips from Hawaii to California. They sent one up the coast from California to Alaska and back. They could probably do the Atlantic, but they're based in Hawaii, so they tend to work the Pacific Ocean.

Those are cute little machines. There are two parts; the floater, which looks like a surfboard with solar panels, and the glider, which is tethered to the floater by a cable of about 10 meters. The gilder has elevator-like flaps, which are spring-loaded to return to center. As wave action moves the floater up, the pull on the cable pulls the glider upward too, which forces the flaps down. The water pushing against the flaps pushes the glider forward, towing the floater. On down waves, the glider sinks further, the flaps are pushed up, and in that position, the falling glider then pulls the floater forward.

Wave Gliders have only one powered moving part, the rudder. That's on the glider. Up top, on the floater, there's a GPS, a compass, an Iridium transceiver, and a microcontroller. This is enough to keep the Wave Glider on course. It normally stays within 50m of the desired track, and averages about 1 knot; more in storms, less on calm days. Storms don't bother it too much; the glider pulls the floater through big waves, like a surfboard.

It only takes a few watts to run the electronics and keep the Wave Glider on course. The solar panels and a rechargeable battery provide that. So there's nothing to run out of. It just keeps going.

Neat
• #### Not the the first at all (Score:5, Interesting)

on Sunday December 20, 2009 @08:05PM (#30507724)

This is predated by at 6 years by the robotic model airplane built by Maynard Hill, et. al. http://www.barnardmicrosystems.com/L4E_atlantic_crossing_II.htm [barnardmicrosystems.com]. Details are similar to this case, GPS, autonomous guidance, etc.

Brett

• #### Lithium bomb (Score:2)

So one autonomous lithium bomb, coordinates for a harbor, and launch. Frightening really..
• #### Not the first (Score:2)

A robotic aircraft crossed over a year ago

http://tam.plannet21.com/ [plannet21.com]

• #### The title's slightly incorrect... (Score:1)

I submit the Aerosonde [aerosonde.com] as the first robot to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Admittedly a slightly easier task when flying.
• #### "The putt breaks to the right" (Score:1)

Did no one else else immediately think of Gilligan's Island? Granted that robot _walked_ across the bottom of the _Pacific_ Ocean. Maybe I'm just showing my age.

• #### Usher in the next enviroscare trend. (Score:2)

Once we get a few decades of accurate water movement records from every significant body of water well surely know enough to say that we are experiencing man made current slowing due to boat propellers, and we may all be dead within 50 years if we don't give another multiple billion dollar payment to the worlds most oppresive regimes. Maybe we can have those talks in Copenhagen too. Yep that would be awesome!

• #### Huge Potential (Score:2)

These gliders promise enormous benefits across several disciplines. Movement of schools of fish, under water mapping, temperature and current studies as well as military uses abound. Perhaps tens of thousands of these units can function together giving us real time information never before dreamed about.

• #### Next up, weaponisation (Score:2)

What you've got here is the autonomous intercontinental torpedo.

A slow, stealthy underwater cruise missile, as it were.

Fit 'em out, put them on automatic deterrence patrol, and when they receive war orders they seek out enemy shipping or shore targets.

I have a sick sad mind, but I suspect someone has already though of this.

"Ahead warp factor 1" - Captain Kirk

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