Navy Autonomous Swarm Boats – CARACaS

The U.S. Navy has been able to retrofit standard every-day vessels with AI technology known as CARACaS that enables them to function as a swarm of unmanned drone boats.

CARACaS ( Control Architecture for Robotic Agent Command and Sensing ) is an AI routing system. This enables the drone boats to coordinate together and execute different scenarios including: patrol, tracking, trailing, and classification. This allows the boats to work as a unit to plot their own paths to avoid collision and carry out tasks.

This project is being done by the ONR ( U.S. of Naval research ). When asked about possible applications in an interview, Commander Luis Molina said,

 “We envision unmanned boats doing protection missions, escort missions, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions,”

The system also gives the drone boats the ability to identify intruder vessels. This works by referencing a databank of images of different ships. When asked, officers did say that humans have the final say on whether or not a ship is a threat. In the event that the human operator disagrees with the classification, the system can reclassify known ships so the drone boats would react accordingly in the future.

This same CARACaS technology of being able to identify ships is also being used to search the sea for tracking submarines.

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