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Scientists Develop a Squishy Robot Fish That Replicates Real One Even In Basic Engineering

Update Date: Mar 16, 2014 12:24 AM EDT

Scientists have developed a new aquatic robot that completely replicates realistic movements of fish producing an illusion of a real animal. The robot is also identical in basic engineering.

The design of the robot is based on a new generation of machines called soft robots. These designs use fluid flowing through flexible channels that ultimately drives the device. 

Previously, the robots with mechanized devices had the hinged bodies which were less preferred when it came to adding flexibility and agility in the designs.The bodies of these soft robots can bend anywhere along their length making it the ultimate choice for such projects.

The robot, built by MIT researchers, is the first autonomous soft robot that is able to execute rapid body movements. At instances, it can allow the machine to escape from traps or nets the same way a real fish would. 

"As robots penetrate the physical world and start interacting with people more and more, it's much easier to make robots safe if their bodies are so wonderfully soft that there's no danger if they whack you," said Daniela Rus, who assisted the project, in a press release.

"To be honest, that's not something I designed for. I designed for it to look like a fish, but we got the same inherent parameter decoupling that real fish have," added Andrew Marchese, a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who build the robot. 

The robot will be profiled in the premiere issue of the new science journal, Soft Robotics.

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