Big robot fleet takes to UK Waters

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A fleet of marine robots is being launched in the largest deployment of its kind in British waters.

Unmanned boats and submarines will travel 500km (300 miles) across an area off the southwestern tip of the UK.

The aim is to test new technologies and to map marine life in a key fishing ground.

In total, seven autonomous machines are being released in a trial heralded as a new era of robotic research at sea.

Two of the craft are innovative British devices that are designed to operate for months using renewable sources of power including wind and wave energy.

The project, led by the National Oceanography Centre, involves more than a dozen research centres and specialist companies.

Partners in the project include the universities of St Andrews and Exeter, Cefas, the Marine Biological Association, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, the British Oceanographic Data Centre, British Antarctic Survey, UK Met Office, Royal Navy and DSTL. Corporate partners include MOST, ASV, J&S, RS Aqua and Liquid Robotics.

SAIL's passive acoustic monitoring solutions have been included in this project.

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