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DARPA announces Angler Programme and awards contracts to advance Autonomous Underwater Systems

An artist’s concept of Angler – © DARPA

In the US the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded six contracts for work on the Angler programme, which aims to pioneer the next generation of autonomous underwater robotic systems capable of physical intervention in the deep ocean environment. It is understood that this class of future unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) must overcome reliance on GPS and human intervention to support infrastructure establishment, maintenance, and resilience over the vastness of the ocean. Furthermore, the Angler programme seeks to merge breakthroughs in terrestrial and space robotics, as well as underwater sensing, to develop autonomous robotic solutions capable of navigating and surveying ocean depths, and physically manipulating human-made objects of interest.