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Robot Eel Reveals How the Fish Swim So Efficiently

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The eel-like robot.

The researchers built a waterproof robot with an eel-like body shape that is 85 centimeters (about 33 inches) long, and incorporates a head that houses a battery and a computational unit, eight motorized segments, and a flexible tail.

Credit: Alexandros Anastasiadis, Annalisa Rossi, Laura Paez, et al.

Researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne have developed a waterproof, eel-like robot that can undulate in several different patterns.

They then studied how swimming speed and efficiency were impacted by each pattern.

The 85-centimeter-long anguilliform robot, dubbed 1-guilla, is comprised of a head with a battery and computational unit, eight motorized segments, and a flexible tail.

The researchers programmed 1-guilla to form an S shape, migrate the S-shaped curves down the length of its body to create "traveling waves," and propel itself forward.

They found that producing more pronounced traveling waves and increasing its side-to-side tail movements boosted its speed, but its swimming was more efficient when its body moved in a traveling wave with less pronounced tail movements.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, D.C., USA


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