Inspired by how the fish school intuitively synchronizes its movements, scientists at Harvard University designed miniature underwater robots that can form autonomous swarms.
Each robotic fish called Bluebot is equipped with a camera and blue LED light, which can sense the direction and distance of other fish in the tank.
They use flaps instead of propellers to swim, which can improve efficiency and maneuverability compared to standard underwater drones.
The lead author of the paper on the research in “Science Robots”, Florian Berlinger, said: “This is absolutely useful for future applications. For example, when you are conducting a search mission in the ocean, you want to find people in distress and Rescue him quickly.” On Wednesday.
Other applications may include environmental monitoring or infrastructure inspection.
The existing underwater multi-robot system relies on each robot communicating with each other via radio and sending their GPS positions.
The new system is closer to imitating the natural behavior of fish, which exhibits complex and coordinated behavior without the need to follow the leader.
The 3D printed robot is about 10 cm (4 inches) long, and its design is partly inspired by the blue pond fish native to the coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific.
The robot uses the “eyes” of its camera to detect other robots in the surrounding field of vision, and then performs self-organizing behaviors, including flashing its lights at the same time, arranging itself in a circle and gathering around the target.
Berlinger describes a test in which robots are scattered in a water tank to find a light source.
When one of the robots finds the light, it sends a signal to the other robots to demonstrate the search and rescue mission.
Berlinberg said: “Other researchers have reached out to me to use my Bluebots as a fish substitute for biological research in fish swimming and education.” He explained that these robots collectively can help us Learn more about the collective wisdom of nature.
He hopes to improve the design so that it does not require LEDs and can be used outside of laboratory settings, such as in coral reefs.
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