Science and technology is working on different ways to check environmental pollution, and scientists are thinking out of the box by imbibing the ways of nature to provide an effective means to combat pollution. This robot designed in the shape of aquatic species will allow more flexibility than other devices. “Fish behave in a way that underwater vehicles can’t yet equal” says Dr. Xiabo Tan, associate professor and electrical engineer of MSU.
You must be wondering as to how this unique robotic fish works. MSU has used the state of the art technology to build this robotic fish. They made multiple patterns that were tested by making quick copies using a 3D-printer by laying thin layers of different plastic materials on top of each other. The mechanism associated with this type of printing is that when different plastics are fed into the 3D-printer in different ratios, the printer can produce three-dimensional objects that are stiff in some spots and soft and flexible in others.
The tail fin of the fish is made up of multiple strips of electroactive polymer sheets, which move in response to electrical stimulation and helps the robotic fish to navigate like a real fish.
The robotic fish is six inches in length and can only swim halfway submerged. So what MSU is planning is to make a smaller, cheaper and quieter prototype, which will be able to dive and ascend, and even steer through obstacles on its own, just like a real fish. They also wish to program their robot in such a way that it will sense the direction of other fishes and swim along with them. It will be quite a challenging task as they also have to study the behavior of real fishes and then program the robot so that it can also protect itself from bigger predators in water bodies.
So in case if this fish is caught in your fishing net, don’t start to cook it and freak out to find polymers and cables. Kindly return it back to the river where it belongs and let it do its noble job.