Engineering professor Mark Yim and his team of undergraduates of University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics have created and tested the swimming robotic boat prototypes.

The boats have been named after the elements in the periodic table and are each controlled by a tiny Gumstix Linux computer. The robo-boats are designed for large-scale rescue projects. A swarm of these robots are said to be able to rescue people from bodies of water or even build impromptu bridges in the case of a natural disasters. They are meant to be used in multiples to assist in-water emergency situations.

A robotic intervention in rescue procedures will be quite effective due to their programmed nature that lacks human qualities such as fear that does occasionally pose disadvantages.