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AeroVironment's Mola Robot Is Solar-Powered & Swims In Water Like The Sunfish

Question asked by Smeechi Mittal in #Robotics on Aug 29, 2012
Smeechi Mittal
Smeechi Mittal · Aug 29, 2012
Rank D1 - MASTER
Mola Robot, designed by AeroVironment gathers power from solar energy to wander under water. The concept is inspired by an ocean sunfish called Mola which is flat and thin, capable of either swimming within ocean or floating at the top. Same is the logic with sunfish robot. It is capable of moving deep inside water as well as floating at the top where floating enables it to charge the solar cells and attain power. But, the robot is programmed to stay as deep inside water as possible and charge itself with the solar energy available at great depths (which is very low).

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Out of all the solar energy that strikes ocean surface, only 5% penetrates inside and the percentage decreases with depth. The energy received by robot at great depths is used in real time and is sufficient for moving it at a speed of 4 KPH. In case of higher energy requirements the robot can be provided with a flexible tail added with extra solar panels or it can use it's freedom to reach near the surface and soak greater energy.  The little amount of energy taken up by the robot is not only used for it's movement but also utilized to power data logger that records physical, chemical, and biological information.

Via: IEEE Spectrum Posted in: #Robotics

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