Grace Robot Fish is Capable of Silent Underwater Jobs

January 18, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Here comes a robot fish that can glide long distances in the water. Doesn’t that look exciting?

No doubt, this is an important change to date. Grace, as this fish is called, is well designed to work with a little or no energy.

No wonder it stands above those swimming robot fishes which consume energy. Grace has been in the news ever since it detected crude oil form a spill in 2010 when it was taken for a test-drive in Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.

robofish

The next obvious question is how it benefits us. It is useful to be let loose in lakes and ponds, where it moves silently in the water collecting valuable water quality data.

This data is then transmitted back to the headquarters. Xiaobo Tan of Michigan State University in East Lansing is the mastermind behind this robotic fish, Grace.

The robot’s battery pack moves rhythmically and it pumps water in and out of its body so as to glide through a desired path in water. And what if it finds itself in a site that demands more active manoeuvrings?

The answer is that the robot can swim as well in such situations. But this has a price to pay!

The flapping will eat up the battery reserves within hours. Nevertheless, it is very convenient in that it is far too smaller and lighter than a commercial underwater glider.

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