WASHINGTON DC – The U.S. Navy appears to be taking a cue from mother nature by seeking to develop “bio-inspired autonomous systems” that mimic or leverage characteristics of the natural world to accomplish Navy missions.

Specifically, the U.S. Navy’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget requests contain close to $30 million for developing “Biocentric” or “Bio-Inspired” technologies such as unmanned underwater vehicles that can move, school, blend in with their surroundings, and sense their environments in ways similar to the living creatures that inhabit the seas.

Most notably, the research outlined in the Navy’s budget documentation includes highly ambitious plans to develop bio-inspired autonomous vehicles that can operate both in air and underwater, and transition seamlessly between the two.

Two program elements within the Navy’s budget, Defense Research Sciences and Warfighter Sustainment Applied Research, requested $9.45 million and $15.99 million, respectively, for line items titled “Bio-Inspired Autonomous Systems” and “Bio-Inspired Autonomous Systems and Soft Robotics.”

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