SoFi the robofish
SoFi. © MIT CSAIL.
Developed by a team at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, SoFi is a soft-bodied robotic fish that can swim independently alongside real fish in the ocean. Its main use is as a research tool to observe marine life without disturbing it. In order to do this, SoFi’s appearance and behaviour mimics that of real fish as closely as possible. The robot is controlled remotely via ultrasounds and it can swim autonomously for 40 minutes. Its main propulsion is done with its tail, which is driven hydraulically by pumping oil from one side of the tail to the other. The tail moves back and forth at a frequency of 0.9 to 1.4 Hz, which provides a maximum speed of 21.7 cm per second. The system will work at depths of up to 18 metres. In the video, you can see tests undertaken in the magnificent coral reefs in Fiji.
⇨ IEEE Spectrum, “MIT’s Soft Robotic Fish Explores Reefs in Fiji.”
⇨ MIT News, “Soft robotic fish swims alongside real ones in coral reefs.”