Flying WANDA Flimmer
United States Naval Research Laboratory
The latest version of Flimmer is an aerodynamic fish called the Flying WANDA. (WANDA comes from the Navy’s fish-mimicking “Wrasse-inspired Agile Near-shore Deformable-fin Automaton,” and, presumably, is named after a 1988 John Cleese film). In tests, WANDA could go as fast as 57 miles per hour while flying, and just 11 miles per hour in the water.
The Naval Research Lab only hints at future submarine-hunting plans for the Flimmer, conceptualizing the design as a more mobile and a re-deployable sonobuoy. Sonobuoys are, like the name suggests, sonor-carrying buoys, usually dropped from planes to scan an area for submarines. Once deployed, they’re static devices. While they can communicate their findings back to human operators, sonobuoys just sort of float where they are. If they detect a submarine and then it goes away, there’s not much a sonobuoy can do. But a Flimmer, with sonar mounted in its belly, could move around to keep looking for the submarine.
Not bad, for a duckbot.