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)

Via DefenseOne.

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 |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...' - Abraham Merritt, 1920.

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.' - Harry Harrison, 1959.

Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna
'With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.' - Michael Swanwick, 2002.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy!

Trillionaires Still Earth-Bound
'I shall never forget the sight... when the yellow gleam of the precious metal appeared under the star dust.'

Digit V2 Bipedal Robot From Agility Robotics
Oh, and now I suppose someone will develop the robotic porch pirate.

3D Printed Dubai Building Is World's Largest
'This thing will start at one end of ...a house and build it complete to the other end, following drawings only.'

Grow Plants On Moon Or Mars!
'In contrast to the airless desolation outside, the interior of this five-acre greenhouse was the one most desirable place to be.'

California Gets Shockwave Rider-Style Avoidance Zones
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.'

Microbot Interstellar von Neumann Explorers
'Evidently they have never had a planet of their own...'

Hail SmartCan! Your Trash Bin Takes Itself Out
'...a waste can twenty feet away stirred into life.'

Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
'Runcible, whose pages were thicker and more densely packed with computational machinery...'

Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
'He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.