So, there's good news and bad news. The former is that MIT researchers have developed new software and methods that can predict optimal paths for automated underwater vehicles. The latter is that it's meant to be used for "swarms" of them, "moving all at once toward separate destinations." We hate to be the folks that keep harping on the inevitable, but teaching "swarms" of undersea robots how to effectively draw paths to the very creators that made them makes us... well, less that cozy. Paranoia aside, the Pierre Lermusiaux-led team has concocted a system that can provide paths optimized either for the shortest travel time or for the minimum use of energy, or to maximize the collection of data that is considered most important. The goal? To make the lives of gliders more efficient when engaged in "mapping and oceanographic research, military reconnaissance and harbor protection, or for deep-sea oil-well maintenance and emergency response." Oh, and did we mention that it can incorporate obstacle-avoidance functions for the sake of protection. Yeah. Death from above below.

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MIT software optimizes paths for automated undersea vehicles (video)