Shock And Awe: Robot Electric Eels To Protect Our Shores?

Oceans are notoriously hard to keep secure from invading threats, particularly those that lurk in the deep.  Now, a new development in robotics may help keep our coasts safe thanks to some electric-eel-style swimming 'bots.

According to Science Daily, the Anguilliform robotic fish is a droid that dives deep and reports back if it spots any enemies.  Designed specifically to venture to more intense depths than a human is capable of, the eel-bots are unobtrusive and agile.  They could be trained to find and detonate undersea mines, and maybe even launch counteroffensives against enemy divers.

It doesn't look like your typical badass robot, but that is part of its camouflage.
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The current methodology of keeping our coasts safe to this degree involves attack dolphins (seriously.)  To avoid bringing possibly-unethical harm to the animals, the eel-bots make warfare a little more moral.  

The fish contains an artificial neural network which enables it to autonomously run via its oscillators and an amplitude modulator.  Prof. Jianxin Xu, one of the lead researchers and co-authors of the project, was pleased with the results, explaining, "We performed simulations and experiments on the robotic fish, equipped with a motion library to cope with different scenarios, and the results validate the effectiveness of the proposed controllers was able to swim forward and backward as predicted."

If you catch one of these while fishing, it's in everyone's best interests for you to throw it back.
(Image courtesy

Could this robotic sushi really help protect us? It's no crazier than some of other ideas, and doesn't harm our humans or dolphins. Let's just hope the other members of the oceanic ecosystem don't think the undulating undersea eels look tasty.

The eel-bots better not get into a turf war with the attack dolphins.
(Image couresy

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