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New Robots Hunt Pirates by Sea

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the long-john-silicon dept.

Robotics 207

mattnyc99 writes "PopularMechanics.com takes a peek into the growing world of high-tech piracy on the open seas, which the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard are looking to cut off by investing in a new fleet of superfast, gun-mounted unmanned surface vessels (USVs). From the article: "The Interceptor is available now. But the USV market is just getting started: Two months ago, British defense firm Qinetiq debuted its own robotic vessel, the jetski-size Sentry. Among its potential duties is intruder investigation, which could include scouting out unidentified boats, along the lines of the raft that detonated alongside the USS Cole in Yemen, as well as offering a first look at a possible pirate-controlled vessel.""

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207 comments

Not piracy (5, Funny)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191129)

Remember, it's not piracy, it's "unauthorized copying". Oh, wait...

Re:Not piracy (2, Insightful)

biocute (936687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191315)

I think it still holds true: It's not piracy, it's unauthorized crimes.

Re:Not piracy (4, Funny)

loshwomp (468955) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191391)

It's not piracy, it's unauthorized crimes.

Wait, the crimes are unauthorized? Are you trying to confuse me?

Re:Not piracy (5, Insightful)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191513)

Yes to the first, no to the second.

Essentially the crimes are not authorized unless you fill out the authorization forms first.

And by authorization forms I mean the documents needed to start a corporation.

Or win an election.

Thats how you get authorized.

More than likely the little ships will get pirated (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191425)

It's only a matter of time. They crank 1000 of these onto the ocean, the hackers go "oh, hey, wait a minute!" and bam, they've got 1000 gun mounted boats at their disposal, patched of course, so the same trick can't work twice.

This shit is getting fucking unreal.

The next step in evolution (5, Funny)

glittalogik (837604) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191643)

It's time. The days of zombie PCs are numbered. The future is...

Zombie robot pirates!

Do you realise just how much more awesome the world is about to become?

Re:More than likely the little ships will get pira (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191769)

Well, it isn't as simple as making a PC a zombie. For example - who is going to add gas, oil, maintenance etc. to a zombied boat? Oh, I know - 10 of them show up at a port and demand gas or they blow the place? That would be a good one.

Re:More than likely the little ships will get pira (2, Insightful)

sych (526355) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192619)

People supply zombie PCs with electricity and an internet connection because the infection is generally done surreptitiously.

So do the same with the robot boats... hijack them in a way that will go undetected, so whoever owns them will continue to fuel and maintain them for you. Once you've taken over a good number of them, and they're all fueled up, you're ready to strike!

Re:More than likely the little ships will get pira (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192005)

You know you could have so much fun with one of them and a joystick.

Heck grab two and verse a friend. ;)

Re:Not piracy (1)

camperslo (704715) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191605)

I guess now the pirates can learn how to steal Robot Hunting Vessels and reprogram them to be Robotic Pirate Vessels?

Maybe someday we'll have war where all the silly humans can just stay home and watch it on television.

Bezerkers (1)

kn0tw0rk (773805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192991)

Its this escallating arms race of automated fighting machines that will lead to the realisation of Fred Saberhagens 'Bezerkers'.

Robot pirate hunters? (4, Funny)

Guido del Confuso (80037) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191131)

All hail our robotic sea ninja overlords!

Re:Robot pirate hunters? (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191961)

The fools didn't put no fricken lasers on their heads, how can you kill the pirates if your sharks don't have no fricken lasers on their heads?

Re:Robot pirate hunters? (1)

IgLou (732042) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192893)

I call shenanigans! No one said that the robots were in fact ninjas. Just because most pirates fight with ninjas doesn't mean pirates only fight ninjas. Correlation != causation!!

They could be robots sent by the MPAA or RIAA...

No No No (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191133)

In soviet seas, robot pirates, hunt and rape you and declare global warming false!

Re:No No No (1)

JuzzFunky (796384) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191225)

With the "14-percent increase in worldwide pirate attacks this year.", it looks like we are finally winning the battle against global warming!
http://www.venganza.org/ [venganza.org]

Why no Napster ice age? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191483)

With the "14-percent increase in worldwide pirate attacks this year.", it looks like we are finally winning the battle against global warming!
If Pastafarianism's prediction about future correlations between piracy and climate is correct, then why haven't we been heading toward an ice age since 1999, when Napster classic burst onto the scene and brought casual copyright infringement to the Internet-connected masses?

Global Warming (4, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191189)

Arrr, to be sure, this be underwritten by His Noodley Spaghettiness himself. Robots. Pirates. All hail the touch of His Noodly Jetski!

Ooh arrr, what be a Jetski anyway? Russian Hanna-Barbera futurist?

Re:Global Warming (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192577)

Jetski is the guy that sells surplus ED209s to the pirates. The kind that go "You have 20 seconds to comply."

Keep it a Secret (2, Insightful)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191227)

I don't understand the rationale behind this. If these boats are going to patrol the waters for enemy boats, terrorists, or protect troops and the other side hasn't thought of, designed or implemented this idea, why let it out? Don't let the information get out and keep it secret. I understand there could be ulterior motives here, or a company hungry for a large contract. But military spending budgets have lots of room for secret spending.

Re:Keep it a Secret (3, Insightful)

weak* (1137369) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191395)

...why let it out?
The enemy's perception of threat is almost as useful as a genuine threat. They'll never deploy enough of these things to be 100% effective, so scaring them away is a good strategy.

Re:Keep it a Secret (5, Informative)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191399)

because the main point of a deterrent is to be a deterrent. For example, while cops do have unmarked cars the vast majority are pretty gaudily painted. Police uniforms are designed to make them look larger and more imposing. The idea, at least in most cases, is not to get someone to commit the crime so you can catch him, but to deter them from attempting it in the first place.

Re:Keep it a Secret (1)

bunhed (208100) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191577)

Not to mention that the best way to make people feel safe is to make them feel scared first.

Re:Keep it a Secret (5, Interesting)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191607)

Ironically yes.

They have done tests using examples of police uniforms and asking citizens what type of uniform made them feel most secure. They ranged from the wildly florid with knee high leather boots and helmets and epaulets and whatnot, to guys in blue blazers with all their gear hidden under the coats.

The overwhelming winner were the uniforms with as much testosterone laced leather froo-froo as could be sewn to them.

Re:Keep it a Secret (5, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191713)

Excellent, my stocks in testosterone laced leather froo-froos are going to go thru the roof!

Re:Keep it a Secret (3, Funny)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191757)

Oh, sorry. That was me buying my annual supply causing artificial inflation for the current quarter. Sorry.

Re:Keep it a Secret (1)

SlowMovingTarget (550823) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192225)

Yeah, but what's gonna suck is all those posers wearing testosterone-laced naugahyde froo-froos. I mean, that stuff starts to smell after ten minutes of body heat... Ick. So people, when you go shopping for your hormone-laden froo-froos, do not spare the cows! Make sure they're genuine leather, mmm-K?

Re:Keep it a Secret (alternative theory) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191537)

Possibly something like this:

"Hey! Invest in us we hope to get a large military contract for a high-tech gadget!"

Re:Keep it a Secret (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191557)

There is another purpose. The article mentions that one of the tactics used by the pirates is to send out a fake distress call. Then whatever vessel approaches the pirates then becomes hijacked and ransomed for money. If a AUV ship is sent out, it can pick up survivors (if it is a genuine distress call) or shoot the **** out of the pirates.

Re:Keep it a Secret (1)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192017)

If a AUV ship is sent out, it can pick up survivors (if it is a genuine distress call) or shoot the **** out of the pirates.

Or
It could just shoot the **** out of the survivors. Robots are a good solution for some tasks. However, none of those tasks involve firearms.

Re:Keep it a Secret (2, Insightful)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192127)

I read the story about the Killer Robot Cannon [wired.com] . Not sure if the picture is the system is question or if it's a frame from Starship Troopers".

Re:Keep it a Secret (1)

rts008 (812749) | more than 6 years ago | (#21193123)

Or, it could be hacked, cracked, and pWned by the pirates. (yes, I understand that we are FINALLY talking about real pirates!)

While we're at it, we should back these bots up with some kind of amphibious mines based on Rhoombas-with frikkin' lasers.

frowst pisT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191231)

Ameri3a. You,

Re:frowst pisT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191505)

6th... You seriously fail at trolling.

Rad (1)

swatward (956094) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191265)

Well, with all the wasted money in the US Army, at least we have Pirate fighting Robots. Seriously, this is awesome.

"high-tech piracy on the open seas" (1)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191287)

"high-tech piracy on the open seas"?
Good lord, waterproof robot pirates? We're DOOMED!

Snowcrash (2, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191305)

First it's unmanned sea vessels, then it's nuclear powered cyborg dogs who dream of flying steaks.

Or, if you prefer reality to science fiction: Robert Work, a retired Marine officer and analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington, said piracy is a "persistent threat" that the Navy has worked to address in recent years. [...] "Essentially, you don't want to use a billion dollar DDG [guided missile destroyer] to suppress pirates [military.com] ,"

Re:Snowcrash (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191453)

Geez, at least give the full quote for context.

"Essentially, you don't want to use a billion dollar DDG [guided missile destroyer] to suppress pirates," Work said. "That's a mission for a much smaller ship. But we have a lot of ships in that area because of ongoing operations in the Horn of Africa. These are ships designed for high-end war fighting, not chasing pirates."
Using a DDG for this is like using a pile drive to crush a beer can.

Re:Snowcrash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21192505)

Using a DDG for this is like using a pile drive to crush a beer can.

You mean highly effective albeit inefficient?

Believe me, that beer can is as crushed as a crushed can can be buddy.

Pirate Dread (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191361)

"We are the Dread Pirate Robots. There will be no survivors."

If only we had a remotely-operated wheelbarrow... That would be something!

apologies to spongebob (5, Funny)

shineyboy (840750) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191379)

Who hunts down pirates on the high seas?
ROBOT GUNBOATS!
Dangerous and deadly and fatal they be!
ROBOT GUNBOATS!
If nautical mercy is something you wish,
ROBOT GUNBOATS!
Then put up your hands or sleep with the fish!
ROBOT GUNBOATS!

Re:apologies to spongebob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191489)

Funniest thing I've read all week.

Autonomous boats sounds like a bad idea (5, Insightful)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191397)

I noticed they were talking some about possibly making them autonomous. That just seems like a really bad idea. What you would have is a weapon system disconnected from command. The enemy could set up a trap for these machines, capture them and then have some high-tech stuff at their disposal. Unlike a UAV, it seems like it would be pretty easy to catch one of these surface machines using any number of methods even if they normally can protect themselves with weapon systems. If they can't protect themselves then it would be even easier to capture them.

Very true, and also... (4, Insightful)

caitsith01 (606117) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191507)

...it's fundamentally unethical, illegal and immoral (depending on your particular morality, I suppose) to allow an autonomous machine to roam free with the capability (and intent) to kill human beings.

For one thing, we read here every day about the endless ways in which software farks up.

Furthermore, I find the whole notion of armed robots cruising around freely in any kind of environment - war zone or not - extremely disturbing. How do we ensure they only kill what we want them to kill? Who is accountable when they do kill things? Does the extra layer of separation between commanding officer and 'target' make it more likely that decision makers will authorise killing?

These toys are very neat from a tech perspective, but they create a perception that killing human beings is like a video game of some description.

Hold on a Second! (1)

MOBE2001 (263700) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192875)

For one thing, we read here every day about the endless ways in which software farks up.

Hold on a second. Not to take away from the actual intent of your post (which I agree with) but let me see if I get this straight. A simple robot with a simple robot brain is not reliable and cannot be trusted with weapons, right? By contrast, an extremely complex human brain is reliable enough to be trusted? Either I am missing something or Fred Brooks was wrong about reliability being inversely proportional to complexity. This seems not to be the case as far as the brain is concerned. The more complex it gets, as it learns, the more reliable it gets. By golly, if the brain can do it, so can we. If not, why not? I see no reason that highly complex software should be inherently unreliable. There must be something fundamentally wrong with the way we create software. We need to find out how the brain does it, IMO, and do likewise.

Re:Autonomous boats sounds like a bad idea (2, Informative)

kasin (44122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191985)

RTFA?

"While the Interceptor could be fitted with a water cannon or other non-lethal offensive system, its primary mission is to serve as a sentry. "

Re:Autonomous boats sounds like a bad idea (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192677)

The enemy could set up a trap for these machines, capture them and then have some high-tech stuff at their disposal.
It's just a boat with a machine gun. There's not a fighting force on earth that couldn't already field a boat with a machine gun. The robotic aspect is just a labor-saver to cut costs. It doesn't add capability, in fact it's almost certainly less capable in most respects than a boat with a few armed guys onboard. The infrastructure and maintenance required for these kinds of toys only makes sense for countries with expensive labor and high political costs for casualties.

Re:Autonomous boats sounds like a bad idea (1)

praksys (246544) | more than 6 years ago | (#21193439)

...and high political costs for casualties.

This is really why it makes sense. You can send the ro-boat to investigate without having to worry about whether it gets blown up or shot up when it runs into trouble. Of course, until they make a robot boarding party its use is still going to be limited.

Re:Autonomous boats sounds like a bad idea (1)

KKlaus (1012919) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192981)

Near-autonomous boats ARE a good idea though, in another example of very useful tech having to trickle down first from the military. There's really no compelling reason for shipping boats to be manned (and in fact a lot of compelling reasons not), other than the fact robots can't steer well enough yet. So I, for one, welcome our new seafaring robotic overlords.

I feel safer already (2, Interesting)

yotto (590067) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191413)

What could possibly go wrong? I mean, I'd love my cruise ship to get checked out by the naval equivalent of ED-209.

"YOU HAVE 10 SECONDS TO COMPLY"

Re:I feel safer already (1)

kybur (1002682) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192069)

Just make sure the kernel reports the correct time elapsed if the length of a jiffie decreases :)

Re:I feel safer already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21192335)

But .. imagine a Beowulf Cluster of these ...

As the old saying goes: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191415)

int C = 1

if ( by land ) {
    return C;
}
else
    return ++C;
}

Uh, wha...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191437)

...a new fleet of superfast, gun-mounted unmanned surface vessels...
These things are mounted on guns now? Oh. I see. Slashdot grammar.

Re:Uh, wha...? (2, Funny)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191553)

I noticed that too. I took it as emphasis on which part of the vehicle is dominant.

I mean, the boat part isn't so important, so long as it has a massive gun. Right?

Sigh. I love American grammar... (1)

Velocir (851555) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191515)

From TFA: "The 55-mpg Interceptor could become the long-range patrol boat of the future, while the jetski-size Sentry (inset) could help a terrorist plot such as Al Qaeda's attack on the USS Cole in December 2000." Sounds about right though...

And obvious technical mistakes to boot... (1)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192207)

Someone didn't proof read the caption, either: 55-mpg?!? The only boat that gets that kind of economy is a sailboat. They obviously meant 55 mph, which is mentioned in the article itself. A typical jet-ski gets somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-12 mpg, largely depending on how you ride it and its engine configuration (carbureted two-stroke, direct injection two stroke, or fuel injected four stroke). A boat the size described will be lucky to hit 4 miles to the gallon.

Re:Sigh. I love American grammar... (3, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192253)

Hate to break it to you, dude, but like any other nation, we have citizens who proofread their work, and citizens who don't. Where do you get off criticizing "American" grammar like it's all one unit?

Re:Sigh. I love American grammar... (1)

Velocir (851555) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192851)

Because this kind of error occurs reasonably frequently. But yeah, I shouldn't make generalisations, I know :)

A tragic error in scale... (4, Insightful)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191543)

Hmm... a jet ski sized robot attempting to observe and engage in the open ocean.. I wonder if any of these guys have actually been in the open ocean?

The sea is big people. The waves are big, the wind is big and the ships are big. A really small boat just barely big enough to manage to stay afloat semi-reliably in open ocean is generally 30 feet long or more. They do make them shorter, but generally only as a stunt. What is a four foot tall vehicle going to do against a vessel with steel and concrete sides that reach probably at least 10-15 feet up? These things are going to present about as much threat to the average ocean going vessel as a chihuahua attempting to pee on one's foot.

We also mentioned the sea is big. Average swell depending on area can be 8 feet on a calm day. this means a jet ski about 4 feet high is going to either spend 75% of its time inside the trough of a swell unable to see squat, or skipping along the swell tops in a way that is going to strongly resemble video froma a surfboard cam. Very splashy but not too useful.

As a harbor or shore defense weapon I can see these being possibly quite useful against similarly sized vessels like dinghies and maybe cigarette boats, but anything offshore is unrealistic.

Re:A tragic error in scale... (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191949)

Did you read the article?

"And both the Navy and the Coast Guard have expressed interest in the Protector, a 30-ft.-long USV built by BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Israeli defense firm RAFAEL. "

That is the trawler.

"This past summer, Florida-based Marine Robotic Vessels International (MRVI) unveiled a USV that emphasizes reconnaissance over firepower. The 21-ft.-long Interceptor can travel at up to 55 mph, and is designed to be piloted both remotely and autonomously. "

A smaller stealth based model

Where have you seen a 21 or 30 foot jetski?

Re:A tragic error in scale... (3, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192503)

They will make them when the average American hits 1000 lbs. I presume this will happen somewhere in Michigan. There will be a cup holder and a sausage dispenser.

Surveillance instead of engagement? (3, Interesting)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192371)

Well, for engagement, I'd certainly agree with your point, but for surveillance, I'd think the platform would have a number of advantages.

The first one is stealth, if it's capable of hiding in between the seas, then you'll have a heck of a time picking it up on ship radar. Even if it is seen, it'll blend in fairly well with the sea clutter on the display. Helicopters and airplanes stick out like a sore thumb, both visually and on radar.

The second is speed. Although they'd take a significant hit in higher seas, they can potentially put up with more banging and bouncing around than a human crew could ever take. And, with the unit being virtually encapsulated, seaworthiness is no longer an issue (the water it would take would be minimal).

And as far as surveillance goes, couldn't a simple telescoping arm with a camera equipped with gyro-stabilized optics be employed? You couldn't use it effectively underway, but a slow/stop speed it would give you a decent vantage. I regularly use a 14x power set of gyro-stabilized binoculars and I can read boat registration numbers (3" high block letters) fairly easily from over a half-mile away in 5 foot sea conditions.

Let's face it, Popular Mechanics likes to write fluff, and whatever they can do to make something sound more cool, sexy and manly is their primary M.O. Step back, look at the actual facts (in which there are few in this case) and not the claims of the marketing group, nor the speculation and opinions of the writers and the real potential uses start to become visible.

Re:A tragic error in scale... (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 6 years ago | (#21193059)

Hmm... a jet ski sized robot attempting to observe and engage in the open ocean.. I wonder if any of these guys have actually been in the open ocean?

The sea is big people. The waves are big, the wind is big and the ships are big. A really small boat just barely big enough to manage to stay afloat semi-reliably in open ocean is generally 30 feet long or more. They do make them shorter, but generally only as a stunt. What is a four foot tall vehicle going to do against a vessel with steel and concrete sides that reach probably at least 10-15 feet up? These things are going to present about as much threat to the average ocean going vessel as a chihuahua attempting to pee on one's foot.

We also mentioned the sea is big. Average swell depending on area can be 8 feet on a calm day. this means a jet ski about 4 feet high is going to either spend 75% of its time inside the trough of a swell unable to see squat, or skipping along the swell tops in a way that is going to strongly resemble video froma a surfboard cam. Very splashy but not too useful.

As a harbor or shore defense weapon I can see these being possibly quite useful against similarly sized vessels like dinghies and maybe cigarette boats, but anything offshore is unrealistic.
http://www.greenpeace.org/international/photosvideos/photos/greenpeace-zodiac-manoeuvres-i [greenpeace.org]

Re:A tragic error in scale... (1)

JK_the_Slacker (1175625) | more than 6 years ago | (#21193153)

The difference here being, of course, that Chihuahuas don't get bow-mounted guns.

I would imagine that, for an unmanned vehicle, you could play around with the design until something the size of a jetski handled rough waters pretty well. After all, it doesn't even necessarily have to stay "right-side-up" at all times.

Re:A tragic error in scale... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21193213)

Eh?
1. Robots don't breathe,drink or eat. Making them watertight would seem logical.
2. gps and robots are not limited to the human range of vision

?. Hell who knows, maybe those things can fly too ;P

N4v33 Pw0n3d (2, Funny)

bigattichouse (527527) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191573)

dah leet pirates wit millions of $$$ will h4xor your unmanned vessels. duh. It will work for a while, and then it will just escalate the stakes. And when you have limitless manual labor, you can afford to send out fishermen that blow up the unmanned vessels. (by holding their family hostage). "Don't mind me, I'm just fishing, see ya later... smile and wave" (boom).

Asimov's Laws of Robotics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191597)

If the Pirates are human, I think this probably violates Asimov's Laws of Robotics.

And nothing good is going to come out of building robots that don't follow those laws. Seriously.

It's a.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191647)

...mini-BOLO on waterjet! Whee!

I Only read the title, but ... (3, Insightful)

kramulous (977841) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191669)

OMG! Oh My God! Oh my god, Oh my god, OH MY GOD!!!!!

If this stuff is not what dreams are made of, then I'll eat my eye patch.

This is the only question that needs asked (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191729)

Do we have ninja available? Because that would be the battle royale of all time: pirate vs. robot vs. ninja. Just $49.99 on pay-per-view!

Fast maned anti-pirate vessels (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191739)

Why not use this class of fast maned vessel, HMCS Bras d'Or (FHE 400) [wikipedia.org] . They can cruse in ocean waters and due to their speed are able to get on the scene very quickly and no ship can outrun them.

Re:Fast maned anti-pirate vessels (1)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192807)

Because of course, like pretty much every Canadian military innovation to come along, our Federal Government quashed it and there are no active ships in that line still in existence. The Bras D'Or is a Museum vessel now.

Still I take your point, a ship that can do 60knots/hr (110kmh) ought to make a pretty decent pirate chasing vessel for sure. Just get someone else to build it because my country seems patently incapable of actually producing the wondrous military innovations we produce. The Avro Arrow, the Bras D'Or, I am sure there must be more like them out there.

Offensive ideas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21191747)

1) Paintballs with low level radioactive isotopes to track them back to their lair.
2) Waterballoon-like ammo filled with distilled skunk stink and the hottest peppers you can find.
3) Flour--and a digitial camera to post on the web so the whole world laughs at their shocked expressions.
4) Arm one with the Nude Bomb.
5) Ramming speed. Nuff said.

This is stupid (3, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191817)

How long until these things ARE THE PIRATES!

"THIS VESSEL IS A SATELITE CONTROLLED DRONE... PROVIDE 64 bank account access codes or it will OPEN FIRE! Your airwaves are being monitored!"

If this tech spreads into the world of piracy an isolated problem for the super rich may start striking all boaters... My sailing dingy is NOT bulletproof.

Really easy way to deter high-seas piracy (2, Insightful)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191913)

It's as simple as amending international marittime law to permit ship crews to arm themselves. A .50 cal deck gun should deter most of the baddies, but the Captain and crew should have sidearms and shotguns for close-in work if necessary.

Modern day piracy... (3, Interesting)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192101)

Most piracy today, typically has help of an inside man.

Typically it will be at night, in the straights south of Singapore. 4-5 guys suddenly appear with big machetes, and they know where to be because the inside guy told them when and where. Oh, yeah, the traitors are on watch at the time...

Cell phones and text messages work for good and ill.

I am an gung-ho as the next guy, but If I am one seaman in a crew of 12 on a small freighter and I don't know which of my mates are "in on it", shooting it out with the pirates in front and the traitors at my back is not worth it. Take the stuff, it is not mine anyhow.

Seriously, if you want to stop piracy, shipping companies need to do better background checks on their employees.

Re:Modern day piracy... (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192635)

To prevent most piracy all you have to do is to not pay the crew third world wages. Pay real wages and you will save money in the long run.

But... (1)

thedarknite (1031380) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191963)

this will increase the rate of global warming.

I for one do not welcome our new pirate-hunting robotic overlords. It's hot enough here already.

i think i read /. to often... (1)

AlgorithMan (937244) | more than 6 years ago | (#21191979)

when i read the title i first thought, the MPAA wanted robots to swim to sweden and "visit" TPB....

Running on Vista? (1)

schauhan (1070004) | more than 6 years ago | (#21192189)

And are these robots running on Vista?

I can imagine our friends in Russia grinning from ear to ear. Botnets are getting old fashioned already. Getting to command an army of global robots much more fun.

If only robots could get scurvy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21192985)

..I'd say "Arrrgh those scurrrvvy rrrobots!"

Yarr, let's keelhaul 'em anyway, mateys!

Yuo 7ai7 it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21192989)

and promoTes our for the state of

I for one do not welcome our new anti-pirate ove.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21193243)

You can't stop piracy, not even with robots! RIAA/MPAA has tried for years, don't they ever learn?
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