Navy to replace mine-seeking dolphins with robots

Did you know that the Navy trained dolphins to find mines which often blow up? Apparently, it was a cost effective method; now, the Navy are preparing to replace the dolphins with robots, not because they were doing a bad job or because they want to do a more humane job, but because, guess what? Robots are more cost effective.

Not particularly known for being humans, they’re also not planning to release or retire the dolphins, but they’re considering what other jobs they could be assigned to – probably some just as dangerous.

“Everyone is familiar with security patrol dogs. You may even know that because of their exceptionally keen sense of smell, dogs like beagles are also used to detect drugs and bombs, or land mines. But a dog would not be effective in finding a sea mine,” reads the Navy’s site (thanks for pointing that out). “But just as the dog’s keen sense of smell makes it ideal for detecting land mines, the U.S. Navy has found that the biological sonar of dolphins, called echolocation, makes them uniquely effective at locating sea mines so they can be avoided or removed.”

The Navy will now equip underwater robots which will do the same job at a bigger distance, without needing constant rest and manned supervision. I for one, hope the dolphins will be given a break and assigned to a safer task.

Via Navy Times

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  • http://www.digitalstormonline.com/ John Seifer

    I do not think the Navy should be using Dolphins in dangerous operations. It’s extremely inhumane. Though I’m happy to hear that they will no longer be used to detect mines, I’m sorry to hear they will be used for other possibly dangerous operations.

    TIL that the Bottle Nose Dolphin brain is larger than that of a human according to Neuroscience Research Techniques. Dolphins are very emotional creatures.

    “It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English – up to fifty words used in correct context – no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” ~ Carl Sagan

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004037995768 Rhiannon Edge

    dolphins have hips, indicating they once walked on land.

  • Rex

    “no human has been reported to have learned dolphinese”… lame, Carl is brilliant, but that is ridiculous and seems to suggest that dolphins may have superior verbal skills compared to humans. I highly doubt that.

  • http://twitter.com/joey89924 joey

    Dolphins are very emotional creatures.
    AT24C02

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