Biomimetic robot fish aren’t all that uncommon anymore, and this particular project wrapped in 2009, but I just came across it and wanted to share it. Research students at ETHZ (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) built a nautical robot in the shape of a fish. Thanks to its streamlined body and natural swimming motion, the robot makes little noise and uses half the power of a traditional propeller-driven ROV. The primary benefit of this technology would be longer excursions at sea to film and study coral reefs with minimal disruption to wild life. The technology could also be used to improve underwater vehicles or build toys or entertainment robots.
Naro’s body and tail shape is based on the tuna, with only the tail section (or about 1/3rd) of its body moving. It measures 80cm in length and was able to move at a velocity of 1-2m/s. Check it out in the following video:
Once we’ve decimated life in the oceans, at least something resembling fish may one day populate them… You can check out more photos of the robot and some more videos at the links below.