March 5, 2013 > Navy dolphins losing out to robots
Navy dolphins losing out to robots
Submitted By AP Wire Service
SAN DIEGO (AP), Dolphins used by the Navy to track down mines will soon lose their jobs to robots.
UT San Diego (http://bit.ly/VbJkA0) reports some military-trained dolphins will be replaced starting in 2017 by a 12-foot unmanned torpedo-shaped vehicle.
The military says the machines can do some of the same mine-hunting duties. And they can be manufactured quickly, unlike the seven years it takes to train a dolphin.
The dolphins won't be relieved of duty. They will still be used for port security and retrieving objects from the sea floor.
The Navy's $28 million marine mammal program dates back to the late 1950s. It uses 80 bottle-nosed dolphins and 40 California sea lions.
Dolphins have been deployed to Iraq and Bahrain to keep ports safe for American ships.
Information from: U-T San Diego, http://www.utsandiego.com