DIY Underwater Robots the "Next Threat"


This presentation sounds interesting. Was anyone else at this conference?

Both Unmanned Surface Vessels (USV) and Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUV) have been identified by the Department of Homeland Security as a welcome layer of protection for ports and harbors. But insufficient attention has been paid to the potential for attacks by similar unmanned systems that could be built cheaply to easily penetrate port defenses. So says Dr. Mark Patterson, director of Autonomous Systems Laboratory at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

Patterson focused on the threat of DIY maritime unmanned vehicles in a morning presentation at day two of the AUVSI 2011 Symposium at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. He says that sites like and robot competitions show that very sophisticated platforms can be built with limited resources.

“The bad robots are coming," said Patterson. "It’s the logical outgrowth of what you can buy off the shelf.” And it is made more likely by the rapid development of subsystems that can be used to build unmanned vehicles, he said.

But aren't the awesome robots coming, too? Shame he didn't mention OpenROV. More here.


Heh, I got this with the antbots too. It got to the point that my grandmother and her sister would just invite the bomb squad guys over for tea after the umpteenth time they showed up at my place.