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The US Navy Is Developing Mothership Drones for Coastal Defense

• https://cdn.defenseone.com, By Patrick Tucker

The U.S. Navy and researchers from Florida Atlantic University are developing robotic boats that can launch aerial and sub drones to protect U.S. coastal waters.

"Our focus will be on developing a multi-vehicle system that can safely and reliably navigate coastal waters with a high level of autonomy while performing assigned tasks," Manhar Dhanak, director of SeaTech, the Institute for Ocean and Systems Engineering in FAU's Department of Ocean and Mechanical Engineering, said in a press release.

The AU researchers will develop new software tools for better sensing and collision avoidance as well as to allow the ship  "to serve as a docking station" and power sub and air drones that latch onto it, according to a statement from the University. One aspect of the effort, developing software to help the surface vessel obtain a clear picture not just of obstacles to avoid but also friendly and hostile elements in the area, to help it better plan routes and paths for different missions.

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