The robot’s ability to glide is achieved through a pump that pushes water in and out
of the fish, depending on if the scientists want the robot to ascend or descend.
(Credit: G.L. Kohuth)

Posted by Tom Oswald-Michigan State on Tuesday, January 15, 2013 9:23

Robofish needs almost no juice to glide

MICHIGAN STATE (US) — A robotic fish equipped with an array of sensors can glide long distances using little to no energy.

The robofish, which can gather data on water temperature and quality, can also swim.

“Swimming requires constant flapping of the tail,” says designer Xiaobo Tan, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Michigan State University, “which means the battery is constantly being discharged and typically wouldn’t last more than a few hours.”

The disadvantage to gliding, he explains, is that it is slower and less maneuverable.

“This is why we integrated both locomotion modes—gliding and swimming—in our robot,” Tan adds. “Such integration also allows the robot to adapt to different environments, from shallow streams to deep lakes, from calm ponds to rivers, with rapid currents.”

The robot’s ability to glide is achieved through a pump that pushes water in and out of the fish, depending on if the scientists want the robot to ascend or descend.

Read more: Futurity – Robofish needs almost no juice to glide.

Home           Top of page