We have talked about robotic fish in the past, so this particular area of development is far from new and unchartered. However, what we have seen so far in the past pales in comparison to this latest invention from MIT researchers, as this new robotic fish actually moves like the real deal, where it is more than capable of altering its direction almost as rapidly as a real fish.
Apart from that, it will also look a whole lot more realistic than other versions that have hit the news before, since it will be a soft robot. When we say ‘soft robot’, we do not mean that it will only have soft exteriors, but it will also run on fluid that flows through flexible channels underneath the “skin”.
Touted to be the first self-contained autonomous soft robot that is capable of rapid body motion, this “fish” is more than capable of executing an escape maneuver, where it will convulse its body in order to change direction in but a blink of an eye. Soft robots, too, would help reduce the risk or danger of collision to either the robot or the environment.
The robotic fish was developed by Andrew Marchese, who is a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. On each side of the fish’s tail lies a long, tightly undulating channel. Carbon dioxide will be released from a canister in the fish’s abdomen, which results in the channel to inflate, helping bend the tail in the opposite direction instead. [Press Release]