A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Paul Saffo
Date: 2016 Dec 17, 10:15 -0800
There is a double navigation history angle here. The "drone" snatched by the Chinese was a "Slocum", a class of sea gliders named of course after Joshua Slocum. They are lovely little devices, so named because like their namesake, they are designed to operate autonomously for weeks at a time. The thermal version exploits differences in the water column to power its movement, accomplished by sounding and surfacing.
Speaking personally, I think the slocums are rather cute and have personalities. So I am inclined to consider this a kidnapping (or more preciesly, a bot-napping) and not a mere theft on the high seas.