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News From The Future: Dolphins Soldiers

…the Navy sent some real marine mammals into action off the Pacific. Four bottle-nosed dolphins trained to find underwater mines demonstrated their abilities during Operation Trident Fury, a joint U.S.-Canadian military exercise held earlier this month off the coast of Vancouver, British Columbia. The dolphins are part of the Navy’s little-known Marine Mammal Program, which has trained sea lions, dolphins, and, yes, seals to find mines and enemy divers and was used successfully during the Iraq War.

Phillip Torrone

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


47 Responses to News From The Future: Dolphins Soldiers

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  1. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  2. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  3. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  4. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  5. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  6. johngineer on said:

    “So long and thanks for all the advanced tactical training.”

  7. Very Smart Animals…

  8. Very Smart Animals…

  9. Hope it is not the same as with Russia withe their Anti-tank Dogs.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_dog but a camera on a a dolphin is a good thing.

  10. Hope it is not the same as with Russia withe their Anti-tank Dogs.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_dog but a camera on a a dolphin is a good thing.

  11. Hope it is not the same as with Russia withe their Anti-tank Dogs.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-tank_dog but a camera on a a dolphin is a good thing.

  12. “News from the future”

    make that

    “News from the past”

  13. “News from the future”

    make that

    “News from the past”

  14. Anonymous on said:

    Is George C Scott training them?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0069946/

  15. Todd Phillips on said:

    “Planet of the Dolphins”

  16. hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, check it out

  17. hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, check it out

  18. As a robotics geek, I would regard it as an intellectual challenge as well as an ethical imperative to develop an ROV that could perform this type of mission without the captivity and endangerment of intelligent animals, never mind the cost of upkeep and training.  

  19. As a robotics geek, I would regard it as an intellectual challenge as well as an ethical imperative to develop an ROV that could perform this type of mission without the captivity and endangerment of intelligent animals, never mind the cost of upkeep and training.  

  20. Anonymous on said:

    Disgraceful.  Are there no depths to which the US armed forces will not stoop?  The country should be ashamed of itself for allowing intelligent animals to be exploited in this way.

    • Anonymous on said:

      if one dolphin saved thousands of human lives would it be worth it?

    • I remember seeing this quite a while back but it’s new news to me that Canada is working in partnership with the US.
      I don’t feel this is exploitation of animals as you’ve put it though.  If you assume that, where do you draw the line?  Do you say a dog that provides assistance and puts it’s life in danger when helping it’s handler cross the road is exploitation?  So many other sports such as horse racing or dog shows can be considered exploitation as well.
      As long as the animals are well cared for and the handlers do their best to provide a high quality of life for the animals, I think it’s great that these animals can help save lives.

  21. Anonymous on said:

    Disgraceful.  Are there no depths to which the US armed forces will not stoop?  The country should be ashamed of itself for allowing intelligent animals to be exploited in this way.

  22. Anonymous on said:

    Disgraceful.  Are there no depths to which the US armed forces will not stoop?  The country should be ashamed of itself for allowing intelligent animals to be exploited in this way.

  23. Anonymous on said:

    Disgraceful.  Are there no depths to which the US armed forces will not stoop?  The country should be ashamed of itself for allowing intelligent animals to be exploited in this way.

  24. You forgot to mention that they have experimented with using bomb-toting Dolphins as smart torpedoes in the past.

    And yes, they did blow up the Dolphin. No, they don’t respect or care a damn about a fellow sentient species. Yes, they’ll keep exploiting them until the commercial incentive to kill diminishes.

    Military Dolphin Exploitation: It was depressing news when it broke, and it’s depressing to be reminded of it… :-/

  25. No. I said put the lasers on the sharks, not the dolphins.

  26. No. I said put the lasers on the sharks, not the dolphins.

  27. No. I said put the lasers on the sharks, not the dolphins.

  28. No. I said put the lasers on the sharks, not the dolphins.

  29. No. I said put the lasers on the sharks, not the dolphins.

  30. Anonymous on said:

    Reminds me of CnC

  31. Anonymous on said:

    Reminds me of CnC

  32. I believe that even under the ‘play nice’ rules of this forum, I am allowed to question claimed alleged expertise on terrorist water mine technology so long as I refrain from personal attacks and focus on objective numerical analysis.  .  

    Using the inverse square law, it can be calculated that if a mine is sensitive enough to detonate from the proximity of a ten pound ROV at a distance of twenty feet, it will detonate from the promixity of a five thousand ton ship (which is small by US Navy standards) at four miles.  That separation is sufficient to protect the ship from any explosive device short of Castle Bravo.  

    Hence, I challenge the assertion that ROVs would be relatively ineffective compared to dolphins in locating underwater explosive mines.  
     

    • Can’t tell if trolling… or just really misled.

      If I hold a huge piece of metal, or a small piece of metal near a magnet.. It’s the strength of the magnet, not the size of the material being stuck to. A small ROV or a massive warship, it doesn’t matter, if it gets close enough, KABOOM. I didn’t read the article, but I doubt the dolphins are being blown to bits in this case.. I think they’re used similar to bomb-sniffing dogs, to find the location of the device and alert the handler that its there.

    • Can’t tell if trolling… or just really misled.

      If I hold a huge piece of metal, or a small piece of metal near a magnet.. It’s the strength of the magnet, not the size of the material being stuck to. A small ROV or a massive warship, it doesn’t matter, if it gets close enough, KABOOM. I didn’t read the article, but I doubt the dolphins are being blown to bits in this case.. I think they’re used similar to bomb-sniffing dogs, to find the location of the device and alert the handler that its there.

  33. I believe that even under the ‘play nice’ rules of this forum, I am allowed to question claimed alleged expertise on terrorist water mine technology so long as I refrain from personal attacks and focus on objective numerical analysis.  .  

    Using the inverse square law, it can be calculated that if a mine is sensitive enough to detonate from the proximity of a ten pound ROV at a distance of twenty feet, it will detonate from the promixity of a five thousand ton ship (which is small by US Navy standards) at four miles.  That separation is sufficient to protect the ship from any explosive device short of Castle Bravo.  

    Hence, I challenge the assertion that ROVs would be relatively ineffective compared to dolphins in locating underwater explosive mines.  
     

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