The problem with most robots is that they tend to move very stiffly. This is due to the design of robots which for the most part, still doesn’t have the mobility and flexibility of a human being yet. However, researchers from Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania have developed a robotic lionfish that has movement that could be described as more realistic.
This is thanks to the introduction and use of a new circulatory system that was built inside of the robot. Designed to mimic the circulatory system of living creatures, the researchers filled it with “blood” which is actually an electrolyte solution. This solution serves a double purpose, one of which is a propulsion system that helps the robot move in the water, and the other is to act as a source of energy.
By using synthetic blood, the researchers found that their robot fish managed to swim for a duration of about 36 hours, making it about eight times longer than a robot with a similar design minus the “blood”.
According to James Pikul, one of the researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, he told Gizmodo, “In our synthetic vascular system, the fluid stores chemical energy which we can use to power the fish robot. As the fluid is pumped through the fish robot, the moving fluid also causes the robot to move. The vascular system, therefore, is multifunctional. It is these multiple functions that allow the robot to maintain its dexterity while also having a long operational time.”
It is hoped that with this new design, it could be used to apply to other machines, such as electric cars, planes, and so on.