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Technology Factsheet

Autonomous Soft Robot

Category: Robotics > Characterization and Inspection > Underwater System
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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has unveiled a robot fish that it claims can change direction almost as fast as the real thing.

The fish – or “autonomous soft robot” as it’s described by MIT – can perform escape manoeuvres through rapid convulsions of its body, powered by carbon dioxide released from a canister in its abdomen.

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Industry:Research
Size:Small (1-5kg/2lb-20lb, 10-30cm/4in-12in length )
TRL:Research (1-3)
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The project is part of MIT’s wider research into the emerging area of “soft robotics”, which Daniela Rus, MIT’s professor of computer science and engineering and director of its computer science and artificial intelligence laboratory sees as a key field for further study.

“As robots penetrate the physical world and start interacting with people more and more, it’s much easier to make robots safe if their bodies are so wonderfully soft that there’s no danger if they whack you,” she said.

“In some cases, it is actually advantageous for these robots to bump into the environment, because they can use these points of contact as means of getting to the destination faster.”

Source: MIT Soft Fish Robot

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