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
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.