The system’s simple repeating elements can assemble into swimming forms ranging from eel-like to wing-shaped.
David L. Chandler|MIT News Office —Underwater structures that can change their shapes dynamically, the way fish do, push through water much more efficiently than conventional rigid hulls. But constructing deformable devices that can change the curve of their body shapes while maintaining a smooth profile is a long and difficult process. MIT’s RoboTuna, for example, was composed of about 3,000 different parts and took about two years to design and build.
Now, researchers at MIT and their colleagues — including one from the original RoboTuna team — have come up with an innovative approach to building deformable underwater robots, using simple repeating substructures instead of unique components. The team has demonstrated the new system in two different example configurations, one like an eel and the other a wing-like hydrofoil. The principle itself, however, allows for virtually unlimited variations in form and scale, the researchers say.
The work is being reported today in the journal Soft Robotics, in a paper by MIT research assistant Alfonso Parra Rubio, professors Michael Triantafyllou and Neil Gershenfeld, and six others including MIT Sea Grant affiliates Dixia Fan and PhD candidate Jose del Aguila Ferrandis.
https://seagrant.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Aquabot.jpg9601280Lily Keyeshttps://seagrant.mit.edu/wp-content/uploads/2023/05/MITSG_logo_website.pngLily Keyes2023-02-17 14:26:462023-02-17 16:06:35Engineers Devise a Modular System to Produce Efficient, Scalable Aquabots