US Navy close to using robotic boats

Demonstration uses 13 boats to escort a ship along James River.

US Navy close to using robotic patrol boats as escort vessels

In the event of conflict, America could use fleet to block Malacca Strait, key supply route for oil to China, with one sailor controlling 20 boats

The US navy says it is close to using armed, robotic patrol boats without sailors on board to escort and defend warships moving through the Malacca Strait, one of the world’s busiest sea lanes and a key shipping route for China.

The technology, adapted from space agency Nasa’s rovers on Mars, could transform how a navy operates and is sure to raise fresh concerns about the widening role of robots in warfare.

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