Researchers from Florida Atlantic University have developed an aquatic robot prototype that swims in the same way as a knifefish, and those researchers' efforts have led to a grant from the US Navy. The prototype has sixteen individually independent motors that allow it to swim just like its biological counterpart.
The knifefish has a particularly appealing method of swimming compared to other fish because of its serpentine range of motion. Whereas simple aquatic robots with back-mounted propellers or fins are capable of moving forward and turning without much grace, Florida Atlantic University's knifefish bot can immediately switch between forward and backward movement and can dart at sharp angles with far more agility than other robots.
The Navy has funded the project with the hope of building versatile aquatic robots that can access difficult spaces underwater.
Robotic Knifefish Prototypes
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