Wednesday, October 21

This squid robot moves just like real specimens

A team of engineers has created a squid-inspired underwater exploration robot that moves like real specimens. Thanks to this, you can observe coral reefs and fish without damaging them. Mother nature has created organisms that are perfectly adapted to the environment in which they live. For this reason, engineers are inspired by it when designing their robots, as they ensure that they choose the most suitable mobility solution for their creations. This is what a team of engineers from the University of California, San Diego (United States) has done, which has been inspired by squid to create a versatile and efficient underwater exploration robot. These automata are necessary for the protection of corals and some species of fish, but their design and manufacture present some problems. For one thing, rigid models are impractical because they can damage the environment, while soft robots move too slowly and are difficult to maneuver. To overcome these difficulties, the team has been inspired by squid to create a soft robot that does not harm corals or fish, while at the same time being fast and easy to maneuver. The automaton is capable of moving without the need for cables thanks to the impulse of the water jets it generates, and it is equipped with all the necessary components for the scientific observation of the ocean floor. For their manufacture, the team has used mainly soft materials together with some rigid parts printed in 3D and laser cut. When at rest, the squid robot is shaped like a paper lantern and has flexible ribs on the sides. If you like science fiction, surely you have seen dozens of movies in which robots have appeared. The best robots are those that do not go out of our heads, for whatever reason. In this article we have compiled what we consider to be the 10 unforgettable robots of cinema. To generate the jets of water that allow it to move, the device takes in water, stores energy in the elastic component of the robot’s body and skin, and then contracts to expel the water and propel itself. “We recreated all the key characteristics squid use for high-speed swimming,” explains Michael T. Tolley, one of the lead authors on the paper and a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego. “This is the first cordless robot that can generate jet pulses for fast locomotion like squid, and it can do so by changing its body shape, which improves swimming efficiency.”

[Vía: New Atlas]

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