Navy Unveils Autonomous Ocean-going Ship

#1
It isn't huge, a three-hulled trimiran that's able to cross entire oceans, 132 feet long. It was developed in cooperation with DARPA (Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) and won't be remotely controlled like previous drone draft. It will have mission parameters downloaded into it and will then use its own AI to decide how best to accomplish its mission. I gather that the Navy anticipates using these for anti-submarine warfare and as floating test-beds for future AI ship control systems. Apparently it was built in MR's own Portland OR, but is now in San Diego where the Navy is to test it. (I believe that humans sailed it on that voyage.) There will be technicians aboard it during some of the tests, monitoring how it behaves.

The day is coming when cargo ships crossing the oceans will be robots and will no longer have human crews.

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/us-milita...s-1.407478


[Image: 160402075537-navy-tests-sub-hunting-dron...ll-169.jpg]
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#2
(May 3, 2016 01:55 AM)Yazata Wrote: The day is coming when cargo ships crossing the oceans will be robots and will no longer have human crews.

I wonder how good their AIs will be at inferring the approach of pirates or identifying such when they get on board. Purely for the sake of triggering evasive maneuvers and sending out distress calls, since even a human crew is probably pretty useless these days for fending-off cargo raids and ship captures.

I don't know if this includes oil tankers and if autonomous ships will ever become popular with tourist cruises, but I guess that would put an end to the disastrous effects of drunken captains. (Including those who "accidentally" fall into life boats before most of the passengers even get a chance to abandon ship).
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#3
I considered something similar to this some time back however the thought was in relationship to the UK Nuclear submarine program. (While the submarines themselves are nuclear powered, the actual program is in relationship to the original nuclear threat deterrent of other world powers, which is obviously overshadowed by the mainstream concern for "terrorist threats".)

The idea I span considered autonomous sleeper submarines that housed Trident missiles. There would be no human occupancy of the vessel, so there would be no need to worry about having homoeostasis onboard. The missiles themselves for safety sake would have a core component removed and would only be placed back in by a human on launch. This would require a human occupied naval vessel to meet up with the autonomous submarine should a launch ever be declared, otherwise the submarines AI would attempt to keep itself submerged resting on the bottom of the ocean floor, only moving when commanded to do or should the concern of prying eyes occur (If an unidentified civilian vessel is too close it could move away).

Literally it would be like stashing things you don't want terrorists or foreign nations alike in "Davy Jones Locker".
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#4
(May 13, 2016 10:41 PM)stryder Wrote: I considered something similar to this some time back however the thought was in relationship to the UK Nuclear submarine program...

The idea I span considered autonomous sleeper submarines that housed Trident missiles.  There would be no human occupancy of the vessel, so there would be no need to worry about having homoeostasis onboard.  The missiles themselves for safety sake would have a core component removed and would only be placed back in by a human on launch.  This would require a human occupied naval vessel to meet up with the autonomous submarine should a launch ever be declared...

Literally it would be like stashing things you don't want terrorists or foreign nations alike in "Davy Jones Locker".

The US Navy is working on similar concepts. (It's extremely secret, so I only know what I read in 'Aviation Week', which has very good sources.) What they wrote about were unmanned robot subs, not carrying nuclear weapons, sitting on the ocean floor off the Chinese (for one example) coast for long periods. Some might be small like autonomous torpedoes and mines. Others might be robot attack and cruise missile subs. When they get the appropriate encrypted order, they would come alive, rise up and go to work.

I'm guessing that while long, their shelf-life would have some limitations, so maybe when they sense their combat readiness declining, the bigger and more elaborate ones can quietly leave station, creep away undetected and meet up with a mother ship somewhere.
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