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Robotic Fish Powered by Electronic Blood Can Swim for 36 Hours


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aquatic soft robot

A lionfish inspired the Cornell team's aquatic soft robot design.

Credit: Cornell University

Researchers at Cornell University have developed a robotic fish that is powered by its own artificial circulatory system. The robot can fan its pectoral fins and swim upstream at a speed of more than 1.5 body lengths per minute, which is about equal to 15 centimeters per minute or 0.01 kilometers per hour.

The robot is powered by flow batteries—systems that consist of two electrodes and a liquid electrolyte that flows between them. As the liquid moves, it powers pumps present in the robot's tail, dorsal, and pectoral fins. In addition, the flow of the liquid increases pressure in certain areas, causing the shape and stiffness of parts of the robot to change. For example, as the fluid inflates one side of the robot fish's tail, it causes the other side to compress, resulting in a bending motion.

Electrodes in the robot are made from bendable nickel wire mesh, which allows for a flexible range of movement.

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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