Eel Robots Ideal For Naval Warfare
A team of researchers from Singapore led by Jianxin Xu recently debuted a robotic eel design prototype that could signal the future of undersea warfare.
(Eel robot prototype)
“Anguilliform [eel like] fish consume less energy when on a long distance journey than regular autonomous underwater vehicles,” Xu told Defense One. “They are highly maneuverable and flexible, making them more suitable than Gliders for navigating small spaces… The noiseless propulsion is another advantage” for the military, he says. “They’re less detectable than robot subs that propel themselves the same way as conventional subs.”
Xu’s design represents a breakthrough robotic fish that effectively mimic the rather unique way that eels and other anguilliform fish swim...
Several researchers—writing in the journal Nature in the year 2000—found that European eels are able to migrate from Europe to the Sargasso Sea in the West Indies on almost no food, suggesting that anguilliform swimming conserves more energy than previously thought.
Anguilliform swimming displaces water evenly compared to thunniform swimming... That smoothness could make some sea drones less detectable than others to future highly sensitive ship sensors.
Eel bots can explore difficult to navigate reefs, hulls and undersea geological formations in a way that other fish types can’t. Xu says that future prototypes of his robot will require less and less guidance to operate. They’ll self-navigate through difficult or dark crawl spaces, which also means fewer operators presiding over more robots, potentially making them even more cost efficient for the Navy.
“Currently our anguilliform fish swim by using exogenous sensing information, namely, external cameras,” he said. “Since we have developed a motion controller and motion library for the prototype, by installing environmental detecting sensors such as infrared or sonar, the robotic fish can carry out tasks in an autonomous manner.”
Let's face it, eel robots are also more terrifying. Fans of the swimming robot terminators from the 2009 film Terminator Salvation were efficient underwater guardians.
(Swimming robots from Terminator Salvation)
SF fans may also recall Murray Leinster's excellent 1942 short story The Wabbler, which features a robotic undersea munition with eel-like mobility.
...The Wabbler lay in its place, with its tenfoot tail coiled neatly above its lower end, and waited with a sort of deadly patience...
The Wabbler leaned infinitesimally toward the shore. Presently its flexible tail ceased to be curved where it lay upon the ooze. It straightened out. Then the Wabbler moved. Shoreward...
(Read more about Leinster's Wabbler)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/1/2014)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )
Related News Stories -
Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.
MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...' - JG Ballard, 1962.
Drywall Robot Looking For Sheetrock
Sheetrockers have sure changed since my day. Speaking as someone who as done this, I welcome robots.
Robots Help People Get Dressed, As Predicted In 1931
Yes, people of the future, robots will dress you.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?
Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'
Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'
Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.
Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'
Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.
Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?
Organaut! Russians 3D Print Living Tissue In Space
'For a while your colonists will have to come up [to orbit] to the Hospital...'
WINE Spacecraft To Extract Water From Asteroids
'Yes, strangely enough there was still sufficient water beneath the surface of Vesta.'
Japanese Swordsmiths Take On Asteroids
'... a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk.'
Saturn's Rings To Vanish, Let's Mine Them While We Can
'...the valuable shards of what had once been satellites.'
Humans Could Take Up A LOT Less Space
We'd have a lot more room for gardening...
Implosion Fabrication Shrinks 3D Objects To Nanoscale
'Carter had watched miniaturization a hundred times...'
GMO Houseplant Cleans Your Air
Removes compounds too small to be captured by a HEPA filter.
Nova Meat Can 3D Print Your Dinner
Printing out chicken nuggets.
MIT Scientists Create 'Peek-a-Boo Prober' From Jetsons
Well, George, it's the latest thing.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories