Earlier this year, the Department of Defense (DoD) released its goals for the Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap and have been performed successful demonstrations with both autonomous and remote control. They hope to take more soldiers out of stressful and dangerous situations to save lives.
CARACaS (Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing) is the new technology that allows boats to operate autonomously and in sync with other unmanned vessels to swarm and overwhelm an adversary or escort naval authorities. “Our Sailors and Marines can’t fight tomorrow’s battles using yesterday’s technology,” said Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Matthew Klunder. “This kind of breakthrough is the result of the Navy’s long-term support for innovative research in science and technology.”
Those weary of the current US drone operations in the Middle East that relied on GPS for courses and bombing routes that left thousands of civilians dead will hopefully find comfort in the DoD’s Roadmap, since the officials say that while the unmanned naval vessels will be able to track down and follow adversaries, a human operator will have to fire weapons. “We have every intention to use those unmanned systems to engage a threat. There is always a human in the loop of that designation of the target and if so, the destruction of the target,” Klunder persisted. Naval officials aim to implement algorithms, detection sensors, and advanced machine learning into the naval vessels that will grant the machines a set of internal laws that give them more control over their learned behaviors.
These new implementations are cost-effective and require only additions to existing fleets instead of manufacturing of new fleets. It will ultimately cut down the number of operants needed to maintain a naval vessel from over 40 to one. The Navy says their robotic swarmboats could be rolled out in next year for escort missions in dangerous areas and they hope to first improve the boats’ navigation and sensing abilities.