The Naval Research Lab is assessing the possibility of combination machine, Flimmer. This machine is a flying drone that can land on water and then travel like a submarine below the surface.
The Naval Research Lab (NRL) is exploring the prospect of a flying drone inspired by the bird. This drone has a capability to land on water, could be submersible and controllable underwater, travel like a submarine below the surface. But, then it could surface, takeoff and fly around, go freely on land and water like an amphibian. The purpose of using flying drone is to carry sensors to the places that are difficult or dangerous for regular vehicles. It can be used to detect hostile submarines, spot chemicals or swim to inspect oil spills. They’ve named this combination machine as Flimmer.
NRL had also released a video depicting the robot undertaking both the activities of flying and swimming. The major challenge in designing this flying drone is to incorporate both the flippers for swimming and wings for flying. The structure is in such a way that they should not interfere with the functions of each other.
Source: Popular Science