Feeds

Watch the MIT MER-BOT – half droid, half soft 'fish' – swim by itself

Underwater unit touted as safer, more flexible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Video Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have constructed a fish-like robot which they say will be more durable and safe for everyday use.

Based on "soft" robotics technologies, the unit combines a computational system and power supply with a movement system based on a compressed gas pump and a series of tubes running through the interrior of the soft portion of the robot's body.

The robot, which swims like a fish underwater, is capable of autonomous movement. In particular, it is able to process and execute an "escape" maneuver in which the unit can quickly contort its body and propel itself in another direction out of harm's way.

Soft-bodied robot fish in action

Such a maneuver, say researchers, showcases a number of advantages in soft robotics, including the ability for a robot to function with and around humans with less risk of injury from a collision. Additionally, the ability to process and execute the maneuver suggests that researchers will be able to further develop soft robots which are able to function autonomously.

Soft robotics, in general, will look to develop systems that are able to change their physical properties and morph their shapes. Designed to be more flexible and durable than traditional rigidly-built robot systems, the soft units rely on air, fluids, and granular materials to form the body

According to MIT News, the fish system could also have a future as a research tool. Should the unit be able to improve its ability to function autonomously, the robots could be embedded with schools of fish to study marine biology and behaviors. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.