Festo has been at it again – developing weird and wonderful creature-like robots to perform different functions. Off the back of its bat and spider-inspired robots, it’s now launched a robotic cuttlefish thaat can scuttle through pipes and other enclosed bodies of water to reach its destination.
The BionicFinWave moves backwards and forwards through water using two fins that undulate to propel it through the water. They move in both directions at various speeds to help with agility. This also helps the robot turn round – one fin will go forwards and the other in the other direction at a slower or faster speed depending on which way it’s trying to turn.
Each fin is powered by nine separate arms and connected to one of two servos integrated into the robot. While the fins move, so does the body, using a third motor that controls the body bend. This unique way of moving means it can swim through the water without disturbing silt or any other material in the water, allowing observers to view the environment without any blurring.
Unlike the spider and bat, buoyancy is key with the BionicFinWave as it’s designed to swim underwater. To make sure it doesn’t float or sink, the robot contains watertight cavities that is also where there robotic parts reside to keep them untouched by moisture.
It also features a range of sensors, including a pressure sensor so it can ascertain how deep it is in the water and move accordingly and ultrasound to stop it bashing into walls.
These features mean it’ll be perfect to help businesses such as environmental health, and utilities companies explore underwater environments without having to invest in big, expensive and disruptive machinery.