Have you ever think that robots can swim? But this will be an ordinary thing as compared to today’s topic. Today I’ll tell you something that blows your mind, something you never imagine!
I’ll tell you about Jellyfish-inspired Robot. This robot can swim with ease and move efficiently through the water. A team of engineers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh has developed this interesting flexible robot.
They use an innovative propulsion modus operandi to move much like the streamlined swimmer perceive in nature and carry all set of attributes. According to its developers, it works in near tenuous and sensitive underwater conditions. Aurelia aurita or commonly known as moon jellyfish which is considered nature’s most streamlined swimmer is the inspiration of this project. The robot uses a “propulsive bell” technique that mimics the locomotion of this marine creature.
The functioning of Jellyfish Robot
The robot’s upper body consists of a small piston, while a set of eight 3D-printed, flexible ribs are mounted on a rubber membrane.
Piston pushed the propulsive bell causes it to inflate and then rebounded to its original shape. This process constantly triggers jets of fluid that propels the robot through the water. This emulates the swimming ability of jellyfish by large vibrations when the bell is pushed at the accepted frequency. Hence, the robot was able to swim like a Jellyfish at a velocity of one body length per second. And this process is known as resonance.
According to Thierry Bujard co-creator of this project, the resonance phenomenon used in the form of propulsion in a submersible for the very first time. Therefore, improves the robot’s swimming ability to 30 times than comparable to underwater robots driven by propellers. Further, he added, earlier efforts to drive sub-aquatic bots with jetting arrangements have included impelling water through a stiff tube. We wanted to take it to next level so we brought in flexibility and resonance to imitate biology.
Scientists believe, due to its smooth and flexible design, it will be a game-changer in exploring the depths of fragile environments, such as coral reefs, archaeological sites, or areas beyond human reach. Currently, the team is working to upgrade this robot with tech to explore the depths of oceans.
Still, there are many challenges and factors to explore the depths of oceans. To overcome these challenges scientists have to develop a fully maneuverable and autonomous underwater vehicle capable of sensing and navigating its environment. The publication Science Robotics published this work.
The study was published in the publication Science Robotics, while the video link below contains raw footage of the robot in action.
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