from IEEE Spectrum
POSTED BY: EVAN ACKERMAN
TUE, JANUARY 22, 2013
The ocean is a big place, and DARPA wants to fill it with robots. All of it. Because rather than having tosend robots to whatever part of the ocean you want to have robots in, wouldn’t it just be much easier of robots were there already? Sure it would! Yes, it’s impractical, and maybe even borderline impossible, but hey, it’s DARPA, and this is what they do.
DARPA’s Upward Falling Payloads program would seed the world’s oceans with remotely deployable robot pods. The pods, or nodes, would stay hidden at the bottom of the sea until activated by a secret signal, whereupon they’d rise to the surface (“falling upward”) and do… Well… They’d do whatever you’d want them to do: passive sensing, active sensing, communications, or even launching UAVs. As with most of their programs, DARPA has no idea how to go about doing this, but they’re hoping that a pile o’ cash will tempt someone else to make it all work. . . . Read Complete Report