Image Source: iO9

BY COURTNEY TEZENO
Anchor Candice Aviles

For more than 50 years, sea mammals have helped locate sea mines. But now that the U.S. Navy found a cheaper replacement, it looks like military dolphins will be out of work.

Since the 1960’s dolphins and sea lions have been used to deactivate mines, retrieve sunken equipment from the sea floor and detect divers. According to DVICE, the Navy is ready to ditch it’s highly trained dolphins for robo-hunters that look like torpedos.

Swimming in their place is a new army of robotic mine hunters. One robot in the works is the Knifefish. A 20- foot torpedo-shaped robot that can roam the seas for 16 hours looking for mines.  

Dolphins are expensive to train and maintain and if one dies you have to start fresh with a new animal. The Verge reports the new robots may not prove to be better but they are more cost-efficient.

“Even advanced robotics can't quite match the sonar capabilities that dolphins possess, though its new fleet of drones should be able to perform these tasks at a much faster rate — and, most important, for much less”

These sea mammals are key players in the military as the Navy compares the dolphins to bomb dogs being used in Afghanistan. Here’s BBC.

“The difficulty of finding and clearing mines is why dolphins capabilities’ are so prized: their use of echolocation to spot objects is the biological equivalent of sonar, making them an ideal tool for hunting mines.”

Before the Sea Mammal program was created 14 of 19 U.S. Navy ships were destroyed or damaged by enemy sea mines. As io9 reports these layoffs may be safer for dolphins.

“Dolphins could still set off the mines and die in the resulting explosion. Moreover, by being used in this way, they immediately become targets for enemy combatants — including any other dolphins in the area.”

The Navy plans to phase out the program by 2017. The Verge reports the Navy may keep the sea mammals on standby for special missions afterward.

Will Work For Fish: Navy to End Militarized Dolphin Program

by Charesse James
0
Transcript
Nov 18, 2012

Will Work For Fish: Navy to End Militarized Dolphin Program




Image Source: iO9

BY COURTNEY TEZENO
Anchor Candice Aviles

For more than 50 years, sea mammals have helped locate sea mines. But now that the U.S. Navy found a cheaper replacement, it looks like military dolphins will be out of work.

Since the 1960’s dolphins and sea lions have been used to deactivate mines, retrieve sunken equipment from the sea floor and detect divers. According to DVICE, the Navy is ready to ditch it’s highly trained dolphins for robo-hunters that look like torpedos.

Swimming in their place is a new army of robotic mine hunters. One robot in the works is the Knifefish. A 20- foot torpedo-shaped robot that can roam the seas for 16 hours looking for mines.  

Dolphins are expensive to train and maintain and if one dies you have to start fresh with a new animal. The Verge reports the new robots may not prove to be better but they are more cost-efficient.

“Even advanced robotics can't quite match the sonar capabilities that dolphins possess, though its new fleet of drones should be able to perform these tasks at a much faster rate — and, most important, for much less”

These sea mammals are key players in the military as the Navy compares the dolphins to bomb dogs being used in Afghanistan. Here’s BBC.

“The difficulty of finding and clearing mines is why dolphins capabilities’ are so prized: their use of echolocation to spot objects is the biological equivalent of sonar, making them an ideal tool for hunting mines.”

Before the Sea Mammal program was created 14 of 19 U.S. Navy ships were destroyed or damaged by enemy sea mines. As io9 reports these layoffs may be safer for dolphins.

“Dolphins could still set off the mines and die in the resulting explosion. Moreover, by being used in this way, they immediately become targets for enemy combatants — including any other dolphins in the area.”

The Navy plans to phase out the program by 2017. The Verge reports the Navy may keep the sea mammals on standby for special missions afterward.

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