Barnacle robot to search ship hulls for contraband


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Catch one, reverse-engineer the sensor pod (most likely using ultrasound or backscatter radiation density measurements (already used by foot soldiers… err… customs to look for hidden compartments in cars, e.g. this one), adjust camouflaging methods.

Alternatively, “armor” the ship with passive sensors (piezos for ultrasound, geigers or scintillators for backscatter) and measure the frequency and type of inspections to collect data for assessment of successful probability rate of inspection bypass.



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Barnacloid, I choose you!

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They’re cheap and easy to manufacture, it should be relatively easy to put different sensors in some so Customs/etc can have a good chance of getting around concealment. Obviously an arms race type of situation, but it will raise the bar on getting contraband through.

So catch more of them, and use more kinds of sensors on the ship’s sensor pods. If it is an active detection system, its presence can be sensed, often cheaply.

And the game is that of probability - a rarely used sensor system will be harder to catch but also more of your ships will slip through unseen.

And you can use other people’s ships as sensor pod carriers; either by paying them or by servicing/selling their own sensors. Fishermen often use sonar, and you can slip more sensors into their systems, with a datalogger. Or use your own unmanned robofish, at 100,000 pieces order they will be close to the cost of raw material.

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