Royal Navy Adds Robotic Submarines To Its Fleet

robotic submarines

The Royal Navy is set to develop 100-foot long unmanned robotic submarines which could soon complement the conventional manned submarine fleet. An investment of up to £2.5 million has been set aside by the British government for the research and development of this extra-large autonomous submarine.

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Robotics Research: The Light-Powered OsciBot

robotics
Credit: Yusen Zhao and Ximin He/UCLA

The robotics industry has advanced tremendously in recent years with several cutting edge developments. Now, researchers have created a hydrogel-based, light-powered robot that swims in response to a direct light source.

This particular robot, the OsciBot, is attracted to and only powered by a constant visible light source. It doesn’t require a battery pack or power tether of any kind. This type of technology could revolutionise the maritime industry in terms of energy harvesting and propulsion in the future.

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Naval Vessels Of The Future

naval vessels
Concept of the US Navy FFG(X)
Image Credit: Austel

When we look at modern naval vessels, the larger and more glamorous ships generally take centre stage including the massive aircraft carriers and the ever-dangerous nuclear submarines. However, if it weren’t for frigates, these super ships would be unable to safely take on the open oceans.

Frigates are also called the “eyes of the fleet” and serve as multi-purposed warships. Their size is essentially in-between a smaller corvette and a larger destroyer where they act independently of the fleet and can free up larger ships in medium-threat areas.

While frigates weren’t suitable to fight with the rest of the fleet in normal battles, they were the perfect solution to long-range solo missions. This included exploration, patrols, escorts, blockades, anti-piracy and anti-slavery missions among others.

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