The US Navy is developing a duck-like drone called Flimmer (flying swimmer) to track submarines. Flimmer can fly or swim, and is able to make an easy transition between the two.
It can quickly reach the area of operation by flying over the surface of the water. It can land on water like a seaplane and dive into the water like a duck to avoid rough seas.
It has a rear-facing propeller and specially-designed wings. It is also equipped with four fins. Two of these fins are mounted on the drone’s wings that adapt to what the robotic craft is doing. In flight, these fins fold upwards to stabilize the drone and in water these fins steer the drone while giving the machine a speed boost.
The newest version of Flimmer is called Flying Wanda (Wrasse-inspired Agile Near-shore Deformable-fin Automaton). Wanda is named after John Cleese’s 1988 film, ‘A Fish Called Wanda.’ During tests, Wanda was able to fly with a speed of up to 57 miles per hour and swim at 11 miles per hour in the water.
In the future, the Navy hopes to send the drones to watch out for enemy subs.