The Seaview Systems long-distance remotely operated vehicle (LDROV) can travel up to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) on its 0.6 inch (1.5 cm) fiber-optic umbilical tether, and fit through a manhole only 20 inch (50.8 cm) in diameter. Measuring 17 inch x 18 inch x 41 inch (43 cm x 46 cm x 104 cm), the LDROV weighs 100 lb (45 kg). The top surface of its plastic frame has freewheeling wheels to make it easy for the robot to move smoothly and quickly through pipelines and tunnels. It's driven by four 300W brushless DC motors that give the LDROV a total forward thrust of 72 lb (32.6 kgf). A 360-degree pan/orbit/zoom color camera and two 530-line color CCD cameras are included, as well as sonar, and sensors for heading, pitch and roll, and depth. A fiber-optic telemetry system provides up to three video channels, four RS232 channels, and two RS485 channels. (Source: Seaview Systems)
William, I wasn't sure where your (usually) straightforward statements ended and tongue-in-cheek started, either. Re Google, I know what you mean: it's getting harder and harder to find good basic info instead of commercial/sales info. But that result was predicted when the Internet became commercialized.
Ann, it was not completely clear when things turned, so you did a good one on me. About Google; I have had quite a bit of serious frustration when attempting to find information about some product or system and the dumb google search instead turns up a hundred sites that want to sell me one, even if they don't have it and have no concept of what it is. At that point it becomes a first rate time waster.
But on the other topic, while invisibility in the normal sense is a big challenge, being un-noticed is a lot simpler, hence the comment about the missile launching dolphin and such. Consider how easy it would be for you to pass somebody by if a whole crowd were wearing AnnThryft masks. Spotting the real one is a challenge if they all look similar.
Ann, OK, that makes sense. Of course a missile launching fish would be a very interesting creature. Probably we could train a school of dolphin to escort a missile launching robot dolphin, giving it a nearly perfect cover. The main hazard would be poachers. Perhaps DARPA would be interested in that concept, which just popped into my head. I am not at all familiar with the DARPA dolphin program and have never heard of "Freddy the Fish".
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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