I think some US military branch is working on a foraging robot for surveillance etc. Basically it will autonomously harvest branches and biomass and burn it to generate energy. Is this something similar?
I wonder how the NOAA DSV fleet is coming along, since the article was dated Sept. 2006. Couldn’t find much about it. From the NOAA website it appears that they use DSVs a lot, but nothing about a coordinated fleet of them being in the works. Too bad, I really like the idea. Here’s a link to their ocean technology page (not much good stuff though): http://www.research.noaa.gov/oceans/t_technology.html
I find it vaguely interesting that, no matter how relevant or interesting an article is, the number of people who respond to it is almost a direct function of the number of interesting images it contains.