We previously discussed some of the research activities at the small, undergraduate-only Olin College near Boston, MA. They've just released a video montage of the different robots that have been worked on over the last few years, including some new additions -- robots that have been the product of senior projects. This year in particular had two really interesting new autonomous vehicles.
One is an unmanned surface vehicle (a USV) that was developed with funding from Aurora Flight Sciences . USVs are an up-and-coming ocean technology that serve a variety of purposes: ocean monitoring, surveillance and reconnaissance, and launch platforms for other unmanned vehicles. Some take the form of a standard jetski ; others, like the Olin/Aurora USV, are based on a pontoon raft platform. The video shows clips of Olin's USV being tested on a navigation course at Lake Waban in Wellesley.
The other is the Ghost Swimmer. Inspired by the original RoboTuna developed at Draper Laboratory , the Olin students are working with the consulting firm Boston Engineering to develop a new generation of robotic fish, designed it to mimic as closely as possible the movement of its tail to direct itself through the water. Though it currently spends most of its time swimming in an indoor pool, Ghost Swimmer -- currently remote controlled -- is likely to join its USV cousin in Lake Waban and eventually open water in the near future.