Ocean going Robots

Categories: Gadgets News   Tags: , ,

fishrobot.jpgDeep-sea swimming robots are nothing new, yet suffer a significant drawback in that they have to re-surface to communicate and share information. This problem kick-started the development of Robofish at the University of Washington over five years ago and progress, we hear, is going swimmingly.

A trio of Robofish have just completed their first major test during which they were programmed to either all swim in one direction or all swim in different directions, basic tasks on the road to developing fully coordinated group movement.

Kristi Morgansen, Assistant Professor at the University said this success in test tanks “Will eventually provide the basis for ocean-going systems to better explore remote ocean environments.”

“Underwater robots don’t need oxygen and these robots do not need to come to the surface until their task is complete,”Kristi points out. “Imagine the future, set your ocean-going robots to task and they could track moving targets underwater, groups of whales or spreading plumes of pollution, exploring caves, underneath ice-covered waters, or in dangerous environments where surfacing might not be possible.”

The Robofish are about the size of a medium sized salmon and have fins rather than propellers which make them more maneuverable.
Whilst other groups are building fishlike robots, this system can communicate wirelessly underwater, putting it in a “school” of its own.

Via Science Daily

  • http://www.swiftheat.co.za Shelby @ Swift Heat

    Wow this is amazing technology, and its great that they are able to sort out that problem of resurfacing and I hope that they only move forward with this and it only gets better.

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