Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Robofish Grace glides with the greatest of ease

17.01.2013
A high-tech robotic fish hatched at Michigan State University has a new look. A new skill. And a new name.

A team of MSU researchers has developed a robotic fish that can swim and glide long distances while gathering data such as water quality and temperature. Photo by G.L. Kohuth

MSU scientists have made a number of improvements on the fish, including the ability to glide long distances, which is the most important change to date. The fish now has the ability to glide through the water practically indefinitely, using little to no energy, while gathering valuable data that can aid in the cleaning of our lakes and rivers.

Designed and built by Xiaobo Tan, MSU associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his team, the fish is equipped with an array of sensors that not only allow it to travel autonomously, but also measure water temperature, quality and other pertinent facts.

“Swimming requires constant flapping of the tail,” Tan said, “which means the battery is constantly being discharged and typically wouldn’t last more than a few hours.”

The disadvantage to gliding, he said, is that it is slower and less maneuverable.

“This is why we integrated both locomotion modes – gliding and swimming – in our robot,” Tan said. “Such integration also allows the robot to adapt to different environments, from shallow streams to deep lakes, from calm ponds to rivers, with rapid currents.”

The robot’s ability to glide is achieved through a newly installed pump that pushes water in and out of the fish, depending on if the scientists want the robot to ascend or descend. Also, the robot’s battery pack sits on a kind of rail that moves backward and forward, in sync with the pumping action, to allow the robot to glide through water on a desired path.

The robotic fish now has a name: Grace, which stands for “Gliding Robot ACE.”

Late last year Tan and his team took Grace for a test drive on the Kalamazoo River, where it exceeded all expectations.

“She swam at three sites along the river and wirelessly sent back sensor readings,” Tan said. “I’m not sure, but we may have set a world record – demonstrating robotic fish-based sampling with commercial water-quality sensors in a real-world environment.”

The KalamazooRiver is, of course, the site of a 2010 oil spill. Interestingly, the robot’s crude oil sensor had some readings upriver from where the spill occurred, although the readings downstream from the spill site were higher.

Underwater gliders, or seagliders, are becoming more common in oceanography. In fact, one traveled all the way across the Atlantic Ocean in late 2009.

One major difference in Grace is that, aside from its swimming capability, it is about 10 times smaller and lighter than a commercial underwater glider.

Tan’s research is supported by the National Science Foundation.

Tom Oswald | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.msu.edu
http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/robofish-grace-glides-with-the-greatest-of-ease/

Further reports about: battery MSU Robofish computer engineering robotic fish water temperature

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht UChicago-Argonne National Lab Team Improves Solar-Cell Efficiency
22.09.2014 | University of Chicago

nachricht Imaging Fuel Injectors with Neutrons
17.09.2014 | Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Future questions regarding data processing

22.09.2014 | Event News

"Start-ups and spin-offs funding – Public and private policies", 14th October 2014

12.09.2014 | Event News

BALTIC 2014: Baltic Sea Geologists meet in Warnemünde

03.09.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens D3 wind turbines ordered for onshore project in France

22.09.2014 | Press release

Wireless Sensor Transmits Tumor Pressure

22.09.2014 | Medical Engineering

UChicago-Argonne National Lab Team Improves Solar-Cell Efficiency

22.09.2014 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>