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Robot Fish "Charlie"

Artifact Details

The front of Charlie the robot fish, a light brown catfish

Charlie was created to collect water samples without being detected.

CIA’s Office of Advanced Technologies and Programs developed the unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) fish to study aquatic robot technology. Some of the specifications used to develop “Charlie” were:

  • speed
  • endurance
  • maneuverability
  • depth control
  • navigational accuracy
  • autonomy
  • communications status.

The UUV fish contains a pressure hull, ballast system, and communications system in the body and a propulsion system in the tail. It is controlled by a wireless line-of-sight radio handset.

Artifact Specs

61 cm x 28 cm x 18 cm

(L x W x H)

Additional Photos

A view of Charlie's tail
A view of Charlie from above


The Debrief: Behind the Artifact - Charlie the Fish

Warning: This video below may contain flickering or flashing scenes.