Australia will use robot boats to find asylum seekers at sea


Uncrewed vessel

The Bluebottle uncrewed vessels can operate autonomously at sea

Ocius Technology

Australia is deploying a fleet of uncrewed robot boats to patrol its waters and monitor weather and wildlife. They will also flag boats potentially transporting asylum seekers, a plan that has concerned human rights groups.

The 5-metre-long vessels, known as Bluebottles after an Australian jellyfish, look like miniature sailing yachts. They use a combination of wind, wave and solar power to maintain a steady 5-knot speed in all conditions.

Sydney-based Ocius Technology delivered the prototype in 2017 and Australia’s Ministry of Defence has now awarded an AU$5.5 million (£3m) …

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