Some remarkable drones are being developed and actively tested.British newspapers are reporting the Department of Homeland Security has teamed up with a Boston development company to create Robocod, an underwater drone!

Robocod is actually based upon the shape of a tuna, designed to swim about underwater, and able to access areas where normal submersible craft cannot access. They called it Robocod because Robotuna sounded stupid. We don't know that, but the invention is remarkable.

The science of mimicking animals for robotic purposes is called "biomimetics." If the right paint were applied to Robocod, you probably would not be able to tell it apart from similar fish in the ocean. The craft will be used, according to Homeland Security, for a number of security and surveillance purposes. According to its inventor, numerous non-military applications requiring underwater work are possible.

Besides Robocod, there are numerous other drone craft that have been inspired by live animals including birds, dogs, and even giant beetles. Boston Dynamics has created a four-legged robot that is capable of "following" a foot soldier like a dog, and carry loads of up to 400 pounds!

But probably the best one of all is the Kabutom RX-03 -- a 33-foot, 17-ton robotic beetle made by Japanese researchers this year. It has six legs, is diesel powered, and can even blow smoke from it's nose! The practical purposes of this giant creature are not exactly clear, but as one critic put it, if the people of Japan are ever attacked by Godzilla again they could use this creation against him.

Don't laugh too hard though, the U.S. military is helping fund many of these projects. We're not sure if we lent any cash to the Japanese inventor.


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