Imagine sailing a container ship to help with cleanup at the site of a massive oil spill. Now imagine if each container were actually an autonomous robotic boat. Dumped into the ocean, the boats could link up to form an ad-hoc platform for landing a helicopter or operating a crane.
That's the aim of DARPA's Tactically Expandable Maritime Platform, and Engineering professors Vijay Kumar and Mark Yim are leading a Penn team working on the early stages of the project.
Video by Kurtis Sensenig, Office of University Communications