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Robots Could One Day Patrol the Seas for Enemy Subs and Drug Runners

A deal between Liquid Robotics and Boeing means fleets of robots could eventually watch the seas for enemy submarines and drug traffickers.

A future where robots patrol the oceans for enemy submarines? Yes, it could happen, thanks to a multi-year partnership announced on Tuesday between Boeing and Liquid Robotics. The latter is the maker of the Wave Glider, an autonomous drone that collects data for researchers during long stints at sea. Now it will work with Boeing on robots for "anti-submarine warfare," as well as maritime surveillance and other "defense applications." That could involve watching the seas for drug traffickers, poachers and other security threats with fleets of autonomous robots that transmit data from underwater and the ocean's surface. "Together, Boeing and Liquid Robotics will provide customers an integrated, seafloor-to-space capability for long duration maritime defense," Gary Gysin, CEO of Liquid Robotics, said in a statement.

IN-DEPTH

— Keith Wagstaff