Wednesday, April 14, 2021

“Charlie” is the CIA’s catfish robot that allows underwater research

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Of various shapes and sizes, robots have often been used by many entities for research and investigation work. The CIA is no exception and that is why it has developed a robotic fish called Charlie. It is an unmanned underwater vehicle that was created to collect water samples.

THE Charlie it became a reality thanks to research carried out by the CIA’s Office of Advanced Technologies and Programs, which focuses on aquatic robotic studies since the 1990s.

Some of the specifications of the Charlie they included speed, endurance, maneuverability, depth control, navigation accuracy, autonomy and communication. THE fish robot had pressure hull, ballast system and communication in the main part of the body, with the propulsion system being in the tail.

In the images, and since you are swimming in the water, it is difficult to understand that it is a robot and not a real fish. The main difference is that the Charlie it measures only 61 cm, while a real fish can measure up to 1.5 meters in length or more.

According to the Interesting Engeneering, The Charlie it is no longer used, but since the robot’s missions are still confidential, no public information about what it has gathered can be shared.

Research on how robots could navigate and collect information underwater started in the 1950s. THE Spectrum IEEE explains that he started, together with the US Navy, to donate funds for the development of technology for offshore rescue and rescue missions. In addition, marine drones have also been investigated for the purpose of monitoring and collecting scientific data.

The use of robots and drones is quite frequent to carry out investigations in places in the oceans that have limited access. However, as the IE, it is not easy to develop a robot and put it in the water as the whole process has high costs of time and money.

Ana Isabel Moura, ZAP //

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