If You Happen to Find One of Our Undersea Robots, Please Call Us: Navy

The Navy lost four submersible unmanned drones over the weekend in the Chesapeake Bay near Norfolk, Va., and is asking the public for help in finding the errant torpedo shaped drones. Communication was lost with four of the 13 undersea drones on Sunday as they were scanning the sea floor for mines as part of a training exercise.

The Navy said the search continued today and they are thinking of using dolphins and sea lions trained to hunt for mines to aid in the search. The Navy said the undersea drones are not a danger to civilians or the environment and asked boaters if they happen to spot one floating on the water to call the U.S. Second Fleet commander.

— Greg Grant

73 Comments on "If You Happen to Find One of Our Undersea Robots, Please Call Us: Navy"

  1. They're on their way to Moscow now. >=P

  2. That'd make a nice centerpiece in my backyard…

  3. I guess no one foresaw that possibility and built in a position location system of some kind……

    UAVs have built in logic that when they lose link with the Ground Station they orbit and try to re-acquire link…..

  4. How could the US Navy lose four submersible unmanned drones in one day? Do the drones have a defect or have they been rendered incapacitated in some way? We need answers quick as this could be a National Security Problem.

  5. Proably some underwater oil things casue we know more has come out than there saying and is probably already up the coast.

    Obama is such a joke, glad you voted for him now I didn't.

  6. How big are these things? If we can't find our own drones then what does it say about spotting small enemy subs/drones during a conflict?

  7. AUVs aren't actually terribly smart, and they're lost all the time, and when used in industry (for survey purposes) they are generally under wireless control continuously for this reason. Looking for mines, they are probabaly required to operate autonomously, which means there is a lot higher likelihood of them getting lost or getting hung up on something underwater.

    Regarding size, I don't know the Navy's model, but they are roughly the size of a small modern torpedo. Approx 18-24" in diameter, 20'-30' in length. In industry they are painted orange, the one in the picture above appears to only have a couple panels painted. After their mission (or a set period of time) they will attempt to surface, their nose should detach, and there should be a strobe light. They should have some sort of locator (radio or other transmitter) but that may have been omitted due to mission needs–this is not the sort of technology you want the 'bad guys' getting access to easily, as it is an excellent platform for Bad Ideas.

    Appealing to boaters is probably a good call, if they are painted dark colors, a recreational boater is more likely to run over one then spot it, and if you call the Navy with the location in exchange for paying for the damage to your boat, they'd probably be happy. I can't remember the cost per unit offhand, but it was more then Id want taken out of my paycheck.

    For reference, I know just enough to be dangerous about these, having worked around them quite a bit. I am not one of the Tech/Operators though, so if one of those (or an engineer) wants to correct me, please do.

  8. barack obozo | June 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Reply

    It obviously was Bush's fault.

  9. rarian rakista | June 8, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Reply

    Deregulation of oil drilling and refining started the second Carter left office and the EPA was defanged. Who was that guy again?

  10. Nothing to worry about. Those little rascals wander off the reservation and get lost all the time. The High Command is working on the problem. Your federal government is doing its job, in its normal fashion.

  11. I was standing on the flight deck the other day and me and a couple other Sailors spotted two dolphins. They were in the James River by the shipyard. We thought it was a very strange place to see dolphins. Maybe they are the trained dolphins they speak of in this articles as I guess we do a lot of training exercises in the James River. I dont know, probbably not but, it is a cool thought.

  12. patron of humor | June 8, 2010 at 11:33 pm | Reply

    maybe China wants their parts back when they found McDonald's was using Cadmium glasses!

  13. well it's only another 120,000 dollars out of the taxpayers pocket. Small change.

  14. does anyone know what kind of data link is being used to pilot these things? it just apears to be a fairly flawed one.

  15. What's the reward and telephone number to call if found?

  16. shawn1999 yes you did miss something
    Sure BP is to blame BUT Obama has made a bad situation worse.
    1) BP's first choice and recommendation was cut the pipe and a put a oil containment cap on the leak (would have reduced the amount of oil leaked by ~10 fold) cap looks to be containing 90-95% of leaking oil and probably will go hire and will totally stop once the relief wells are finished.
    2)Miles of oil containment booms sitting unused in warehouses. http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/06/brea
    3) Not using more surface burns to destroy oil.

  17. It's BP fault, there getting blamed for everything else.

  18. WOW!! This is about drones people not oil spills!! At least it wasn't a nuke!! Nobody's perfect…

  19. Why Yes, you did miss something. How long did it take for Obama to respond to the catastrophe ?

  20. A sea monster got them!

  21. With all the garbage on the sea floor of that area of Virginia's waters, its not a big surprise those USVs are MIA. Why do I get the feeling some old trawler nets are involved ?

  22. Call the who? Yeah, there's a number I have handy. Listen fool, tell the people to call 911, and give the 911 people the number. Simple. What other convoluted decisions are these people making?

  23. How about a $5 fine for whining and finger pointing. That would pay for hosting this website.

  24. Stuie Griffen now has it and is using the technology for his ultimate plan to conquer and rule the world

  25. Finders Keepers, I will be tying mine onto my boat it will make an excellent fish finder

  26. All I can say if this is the new modern Navy, WE (USA) are in serious trouble.
    In the Cold war we took our submarines inside soviet harbors and gathered intel. No drones. Didn't loose any of them!

    ussvi, either your qualified, or your not.

  27. Wow, so that is what happened with the oil rig in the Gulf.

  28. Dusted Eagle | June 9, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply

    Did anybody look under the camel at the pier at NAVSTA Norfolk? Maybe these subs have a “come back home” mode that the brass forgot about? Now, where did I put my “glasses!” HeHe!

  29. Dusted Eagle | June 9, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Reply

    Is there a reward?

  30. Del! Del! did you lose something?

  31. wtf over four of them, who the hell was manning the joy stick ?

  32. Its not an drone its an AUV ( Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). Do a little research before you post an article.

  33. At least the Navy only lost unarmed unmanned drones, unlike the Air Force who flew from North Dakota to Louisiana with "White Ones" they thought were "Blue Ones" and it had to noticed by someone out of the loop.

  34. What in hell does that have to do with the topic? Cute girls with big boobs? Sounds like a bunch of whores to me!

  35. They have found a couple of them right in the same area they were lost. Looks like a large ship collided with them and sent them to the bottom burying them in the mud just enough, so they were not detectable using normal survey equipment.

  36. I wonder if they found my shoues and my backpack i lost overboard in 2007?

  37. WOW! the most advance Navy in the world and we lose four of these unmanned drones! More than that, we can't even find it! WOW!

  38. They will get them all back. The dolphins can detect objects buried in the mud, and for an extra fish or two, they'll find anything you are looking for once they know what it is.

  39. All four of them were probably run over by a merchant ship when they came up to link with home base.

  40. Can not blame Obama cuz the man never does anything. He’s all words and no action. I’m glad I left the Navy.

  41. Maybe they broke off from the rest of the pack on a Special Mission and
    headed south, around the tip of Florida, and into the Gulf of Mexico…to observe
    BP and map out the underwater plumes of oil.
    That's why no one has found them… ;-)

  42. aquaman showed up and got sick of the trash in the water and burried them in an under water trence.

  43. Vernon Wegener | June 12, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply

    i wonder if the laws of salvage would apply in this case. Could you recover US Navy property and tell them to pay you for your time and effort or sell it? Traditionally, when a vessel is lost at sea, the laws of salvage apply.

    Those things are probably worth a pretty penny



  45. I'm playing with in my backyard pool! It sure beats the toy submarine I had as a kid!

  46. Mccann the MAN | June 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Reply

    i am stuie…bryan is pissing on my leg right now. The navy is smart…these things are not too important if they are letting outsiders know they are lost in the drink. Don't worry be happy.

  47. River Rat-SBUXI | June 12, 2010 at 7:25 pm | Reply

    Sounding similar to the BuOrd cover-up of contractor negligence regarding faulty torpedoes during the first year of WWII in the Pacific when our brave sub crews went in harm's way with weapons that at best failed to explode upon SOLID contact with an enemy ship. At worst they circled back and blew up our boats. But BuOrd said our skippers weren't waiting for proper firing solutions and were shooting them too deep. Then Uncle Dan( SUBPAC) got involved and carried out some conclusive tests, attempting to sink a couple of Hawaiian cliffs only to have the emplaced microphones hear the lovely sounds of torpedoes going CLUNK against the rocks almost exactly where aimed.

    Someone somewhere left a wire loose or forgot to write a few lines of code.

  48. River Rat-SUBXi | June 12, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Reply

    This country is, unfortunately becoming a joke ruled less and less by sanity and the principles our Founding Fathers worked with and more and more by big money, oil and big law firms.

  49. The should check the location where they lost track of it and they last track it. Without someone controlling it, it may have stop and rested on the sea floor on the same location where they lost track of it.

  50. Do these fish really have positive buoyancy? Is there a reward? Shoould have had an ELT that would turn on automatically if a watchdog handshake command was not received within 24 hrs.

  51. How about there are no excuses for this embarrassment. Streamlined checks, procedures and manufacturing savings too profits cause these failures. There are no pirates, bad guys, seismic anomalies, or hidden underwater obstacles in Great Lakes to gobble up drones. If Navy needs public help offer a reward, if failed parts are made in other countries get them out of loop, if training procedures are at fault revise them. But we need to stop making Joke Food for late night TV.

  52. This is not about Bush, or Obama. It is about lost drones. Have a respect for our Presidents people. No matter how bad or good they do, they represent us Americans not Republicans or Democrats

  53. Maybe they have followed some poor cruise ships out towards the atlantic!

  54. Not an unusual occurrence. Sea water screws up even the best stuff. Anyone who goes out to sea knows that once you get out in the water anything can happen. Going underwater just makes it more likely that something can go wrong. That’s why the sea beds are littered with sunken ships and boats and lost items and more people die boating and fishing than get killed in wars.

  55. For Pete’s sake people..sh*t happens …they are equipment run by humans,both of which are fallible. Sometimes minor sh*t has to happen to prevent major sh*t.

  56. They were using them to look for unexploded ordnance, maybe they found some.

  57. Finders Keepers

  58. Could one of these torpedo shaped drones be used to plug up the oil pipe that is leaking??????

  59. they should put teeth and a shark fin that way we could bite the men in iraq in the as* with them lol and put mini nuclear devices in them hehe

  60. The government can't find 11 million illegal immigrants walking our streets, how can you expect them to find these?

  61. How about installing a gps tracking device on anything that costs over 2,000 they can find a lawnmower along the highway believe me I know!!! Elementary isn't it, Duh

  62. Citizen Lawyer | June 14, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Reply

    Hey, all you "Finders, Keepers" fans: the old 'common law of bailments' covers this – you find it, you return it, and the owner pays you your reasonable costs. If you want to charge an exorbitant ("unreasonable") amount, that's called "extortion," and all you get is a fair and public trial. "Finders, keepers" is kid stuff, from the mouths of naughty kids.

  63. Does the second fleet commander take collect calls if I find one?

  64. drones that cost millions of dollars and they ******** lost 4 of them, wat does that say for out navy

  65. I understand testing, but at #2 I might have waited to know more what happened—#3 no more launches–# 4 well what the @#$$ already lost 3

  66. A fine day in U.S. Navy history.

    Maybe if they put mines out their the UAV's will go after them?

    Wait whats a mine?
    !WOOT! ,,/<(^-^)>,,/ !WOOT!

  67. Three cheers for the navy!!! OH, wait they lost four? Four cheers for the Navy!!! LOL!!!

  68. i think i found my new jet ski lol

  69. RICHARD ROSCOE | June 28, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply


  70. the AUVs got run over by ships, they were working in the shipping channel and thought they had the head room as an 8m draft ship went through. The channel is about 14 meters.
    they are Hydroid Remus 100 vehicles. They are very smart and reliable as long as you are well trained to run then.
    UAVs had the same issues in their infancy, poorly trained personnel with a ton of turnover.
    I heard the dolfins couldnt find them, they sent in another AUV to target them and send divers in.

  71. Didn't happen on my watch!

  72. A Who from Whoville | July 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Reply

    I think I might have found a small lead to one of your missing “seabots”. Want a link to a clue that can provide you the people that might just have parts(fins) and a location where they found them? Well first of all get in touch with me through e-mail and we can arrange to communicate through more private means. And second, to clarify, I only came across a link and message of someone asking if anyone knew what these(4 pictures were attached to the message) were. That’s all.

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