menu

Deep-Sea Robots Sleep On Ocean Floor Until Needed

Deep-Sea Robots Sleep On Ocean Floor Until Needed
Design

The U.S. Government is developing mission-critical pods to lie dormant at sea until activation.

Ryan Gerhardt
  • 23 january 2013

Over 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. Of this, over 95 percent is in the oceans. With the Earth being nearly 25,000 miles around, that’s a lot of surface area to cover. So how can the U.S. Navy respond with real-time help while bridging the vast distances?

Easy: deep-sea robots.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is currently seeking proposals for work on a project dubbed ‘Upward Falling Payloads.’ Essentially, the program is looking to develop ‘deployable, unmanned, distributed systems that lie on the deep-ocean floor in special containers for years at a time,’ until they are awoken and recalled to the surface (or ‘fall upwards’). With an increasing strain on military resources, DARPA is looking for an initiative that doesn’t rely on expensive ‘legacy ships’ and platforms.

The goal is to be able to hide these ‘sleeping’ robots around the globe in order to facilitate an easier, faster, and more effective tactical response for U.S. operations and logistics. With ‘almost half’ of the Earth’s oceans being more than two and a half miles deep, hiding robotic pods shouldn’t be a problem. However, recalling them to the surface may be.

Upward-Falling-Payload

 

The key areas of need covered in the agency announcement for ‘Upward Falling Payloads’ are to:

demonstrate a system that can: (a) Survive for years under extreme pressure, (b) Reliably be triggered from standoff commands, and (c) Rapidly rise through the water column and deploy a non-lethal payload.

The DARPA announcement calls on those with backgrounds in ‘unmanned platforms,’ ‘distributed sensors,’ and ‘anti-submarine warfare,’ among others. DARPA has laid out more explicitly what they’re envisioning from the project, but plenty is still left up to the imagination:

Depending on the specific payload, systems would provide a range of non-lethal but useful capabilities such as situational awareness, disruption, deception, networking, rescue, or any other mission that benefits from being pre-distributed and hidden. An example class of systems might be small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that launch to the surface in capsules, take off and provide aerial situational awareness, networking or decoy functions.

A ‘Proposers’ Day’ will be held later this week on January 25th for U.S. contractors to learn more about the project.

This program could prove significant for payloads whose deployment is time sensitive. Plus, with engineers ‘from the telecom and oil-exploration industry’ onboard with proposals, we’re wondering how long it’ll be before we can get a deep-sea robot of our own.

DARPA

Images via DARPA and UC San Diego

Trending

Modular System Lets Musicians Create Their Own MIDI Controllers

Arts & Culture
Travel Yesterday

Mercedes Reveals Dazzle-Free LED Headlights

Digital Light offers great precision with a resolution of over two million pixels

Product Launch Yesterday

Nissan Is Testing A Digital Car Sharing Program In Europe

Nissan plans to launch their new service in Paris sometime this year to trial the profile-matching service

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Your Favorite Tweets Are Now Wearable

This temporary tattoo allows fans to wear their most favorite moments from the social platform

Health Yesterday

This Mirror Tracks Your Dark Circles And Fine Lines

HiMirror is a device snaps a photo of your face every day to provide feedback on how to care for your skin

Related Expert

Tony King

Creative Technologist

Sustainability Yesterday

Biodegradable Furniture Made From Pine Needles Could Be The Next Phase Of Sustainable Living

Premiering at Dutch Design Week 2016, the collection fully utilizes an often wasted material

Retail Yesterday

Creative Director: Navigating The New World Of Founder-Brands

Richard Smith, Creative Director at Sullivan, explains how visionaries like Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg approach their branding and why it’s important to apply brand thinking to founders’ products

Syndicated Yesterday

Madrid's 'Robin Hood' Cafe Charge The Rich To Feed The Poor

The charity restaurant makes money from customers by day to offer homeless people meals at night

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 5, 2016

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

USA Yesterday

Amazon Launches Cashier-Free Store For Ultimate Efficiency

The retailer is looking to make shopping even faster by letting customers instantly pay as they walk out the door

Augmented & Virtual Reality Yesterday

Marble-Like Mini-Worlds Invade Miami Art Week And Your Mobile Screen

The gallery world's sphere of influence seems to be expanding into the realm of Pokémon Go—why that's a good thing

Technology Yesterday

A 'USB Stick' That Can Detect HIV Levels

The simple device developed at Imperial College London measures viral load in less than 30 minutes

Customer Retention Yesterday

Crafting The Personalized Retail Experience

Marriott International's Christopher Baer shares insights into how the hospitality company is strategizing customer service

Retail Yesterday

Zagat's Cafe Offers Tiny Replicas Of Classic NYC Dishes

The restaurant rating service created buzz for its new guide and app by opening a tiny food cafe

PSFK EVENT

FUTURE OF RETAIL 2017:
Conference Built Around Report Launch
BUY TICKETS

Children Yesterday

Experience The White House In Augmented Reality Using A $1 Bill

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. is an AR app designed to help people learn about the history and significance of the United State's capital building

Travel Yesterday

Portable Computer Monitor Opens Up Like An Umbrella For Travelers

This mobile screen and projector means work can go anywhere and still feel like working from home

Food Yesterday

Starbucks Is Selling An Automated Temperature-Setting Mug

For those looking to keep their coffee hot on their winter commutes, the coffee chain has created a device that keeps beverages exactly at their desire temperature

No search results found.