MIT researchers are testing robotic kayaks that cooperate to autonomously complete tasks. They’re using $500 plastic kayaks as test SCOUTs (Surface Crafts for Oceanographic and Undersea Testing) to hone their hardware and software. Eventually, hey hope to install the systems on much more expensive autonomous underwater vehicles designer for search and rescue or mine sweeping. Of the ten SCOUTs built so far, four are owned by the Naval Underwater Warfare Center which, er, probably has its own ideas for them. From the MIT News Office:
December 1, 2015. Juliet Marine Systems, (JMS), is an innovative marine technology company dedicated to advancing high performance watercraft. JMS has solved the challenge of developing new technology for supercavitation and control of small waterplane area twin hull (SWATH) vessels at high speed. Juliet Marine Systems Vice President of Research and Development, Joseph Curcio, will introduce the GHOST vessel and JMS control and drag reduction technologies at the Hi-Tech Defense Industry Fair in Daejeon, Dec 1 – Dec 4, 2015, and is pleased to be working with Karmel Technologies, Inc. to bring the GHOST technology to Korea. The GHOST demonstration vessel has shown the ability to safely and smoothly transport personnel and payloads through heavy seas, with high speeds expected for future generation craft. These capabilities protect personnel and improve their ability to function in challenging high sea state missions. JMS has perfected patented SWATH control and is refining active drag reduction technologies that independent expert studies have shown will increase performance significantly in next generation offerings. JMS technologies are suitable for applications in defense, commercial and recreational applications and in surface and subsea, manned and unmanned systems. Gregory Sancoff, President and CEO of JMS, states, “GHOST is capable of covering both coasts of South Korea with just one fueling. It is especially effective in the West Coast areas of South Korea where stable and fast operations in high waves are desired by the Korean Navy and Korea Coast Guard, and could be used to protect maritime border islands including Yeonpyeongdo, located just 7.5 miles south of the coastline of North Korea. Juliet Marine Systems is open to discuss licensing of drag reduction and control technology to South Korea and co-development of the next generation GHOST. I believe our patented technology and GHOST will further strengthen South Korea’s military in the near future.” Mr. Sancoff has spent his 30-year career as an entrepreneur dedicated to the development of high-technology products, primarily for the marine and healthcare industries. His innovative technologies have been granted 42 patents.