A group of Michigan State University researchers have developed a robotic fish that, according to them, can swim practically indefinitely, gathering data on lakes and riverbeds.
The robot is called Grace, an acronym for Gliding Robot ACE and it’s equipped with sensors to gather data and measure water’s temperature and quality. Grace is able to autonomously swim both by flapping its tail as well as gliding through the water. This combination lets it travel long distances.
“Swimming requires constant flapping of the tail, which means the battery is constantly being discharged and typically wouldn’t last more than a few hours,” said Xiaobo Tan, the project’s leading researcher. “This is why we integrated both locomotion modes — gliding and swimming — in our robot,” Tan said. “Such integration also allows the robot to adapt to different environments, from shallow streams to deep lakes, from calm ponds to rivers, with rapid currents.”
If you want to know more about this underwater robot, check out the video above.
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