Andrew Marchese, student of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on 17 March 2014 developed a robot that can swim like fish.
The fish or autonomous soft robot can perform escape manoeuvres through rapid convulsions of its body and can change directions almost as fast as the real fish.
The fish was developed by using 3D printing technology to create a mould which was then used to cast the body of the fish from silicone rubber. The fish can execute between 20 or 30 manoeuvres before running out of gas.
Carbon dioxide released from a canister in the fish's abdomen causes the channel to inflate, bending the tail in the opposite direction.
Each side of the fish's tail is bored through with a long, tightly undulating channel. Each half of the fish tail has just two control parameters: the diameter of the nozzle that releases gas into the channel and the amount of time it's left open.
The angle of 100 degrees at which the fish changes direction is almost entirely determined by the duration of inflation, while its speed is almost entirely determined by the nozzle diameter.
The project is part of MIT’s wider research into the emerging area of soft robotics.
Who: Andrew Marchese
When: 17 March 2014
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