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Mechanical Engineers Make 'Mantabot' Swim As Elegantly As A Ray

Question asked by Ankita Katdare in #Mechanical on Aug 3, 2012
Ankita Katdare
Ankita Katdare · Aug 3, 2012
Rank A1 - PRO
Swimming bots seem to be on the top of the list of robotics researchers. Batoid Rays are known to be one of the fastest, agile and most elegant swimmers. They prove the fascinating engineering created by nature. Taking inspiration from them, Professor Hilary Bart-Smith's team, which includes researchers at U.Va., Princeton University, the University of California-Los Angeles and West Chester University and University of Virginia's School of Engineering and Applied Science, are trying to emulate the ray's swimming motions of rays into an "autonomous underwater vehicle". But what they are attempting isn't just a blind copy of the nature's work, they are trying to innovate with it.

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With the combined use of expertise in marine biology, biomechanics, structures, hydrodynamics and control systems, the team has been successful in developing a prototype molded directly from a real cow-nosed ray, which replicates near-silent flaps and motions like turning, accelerating, gliding and maintaining position. This mechanical ray is controlled via a remote computer. Taking this project forward, the engineers now want to make their robot ray work autonomously and deploy it for long periods of time. This would help in applications like collecting undersea data for scientists or as a surveillance tool for the military. The best advantage that the Mantabot has is that its presence won't affect the other natural creatures because it looks just like them. See a video -


Via: University of Virginia Posted in: #Mechanical

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