American students developing underwater drones to hunt for explosives

Groups of American college students are help making the seas safer – one less explosive at a time.

The Department of Defense gave $15,000 last February to the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., and four other schools to develop underwater drones that can detect unexploded bomb, missiles and mines off U.S. shores.

“Some of it dates back to the Civil War. Some of it is World War II,” Michael Delorme, a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, told Fox News. “And the DOD is taking responsibility to go around and find these lost items and make sure they are safe and inert.”

A drone that has been built and is currently undergoing testing at the school can be controlled wirelessly and contains a metal detector.

“Its got a suite of sensors --- eyes ears nose mouth, just like you and I do,” Delorme said.

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More than 30 million pounds of abandoned explosives reside off the coasts of the U.S.

“It was really great being on this project where we’re helping the Navy solve this real problem of having unexploded ordnance on the seafloor that could potentially hurt somebody,” Joe Huyett, a 22-year-old student at Stevens Institute of Technology, told Fox News.

Fox News’ Douglas Kennedy contributed to this report.