Autonomous, self-contained soft robotic fish at MIT

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Soft robots — which don’t just have soft exteriors but are also powered by fluid flowing through flexible channels — have become a sufficiently popular research topic that they now have their own journal, Soft Robotics. In the first issue of that journal, out this month, MIT researchers report the first self-contained autonomous soft robot, a “fish” that can execute an escape maneuver, convulsing its body to change direction, in just 100 milliseconds, or as quickly as a real fish can.

“We’re excited about soft robots for a variety of reasons,” says Daniela Rus, a professor of computer science and engineering, director of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, and one of the researchers who designed and built the fish. “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.”

The robotic fish was built by Andrew Marchese, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and lead author on the new paper, where he’s joined by Rus and postdoc Cagdas D. Onal. Each side of the fish’s tail is bored through with a long, tightly undulating channel. Carbon dioxide released from a canister in the fish’s abdomen causes the channel to inflate, bending the tail in the opposite direction.

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Video: Melanie Gonick, MIT News
High-speed footage courtesy of Andrew Marchese


James Tran says:

Autonomous and soft robotics are there any upgrades

James Tran says:

Movement and robotics that's old

James Tran says:

Ooh feeding sharks?

James Tran says:

To make meat?

Jam Usagi says:

Now make it so they run off fish food and the oxygen in water, give them AIs, breed the AIs that last longest, and keep going until you have real life robotic fish. I know that's what I'd do.

james madison says:

2:24 escape prey? doesn't she mean escape predators?

eliazar elias Martinez says:

to create technology  to scientist what do i have to study  

Lord McSwain says:

I believe they mean that the robot can move and respond to stimuli on its own if its programming is tweaked. They probably just controlled it with the computer for the video.

JamesA says:

This would be cool to use for clean-up jobs.
It might also be cool to be able to search for an energy source to keep it working.

Isaac Grant says:

Fishlike people talking about fish.

The Browsers says:

MIT is never disappointing! This soft-robot fish made our newscast.
Train Your Dog to Clean

Prank Files says:

Well done MIT

Shock The Boring - You Tube says:

We are not far from I Robot and Terminator. LOL

SoSueMe says:

But silicon is expensive to make. Please use silicon to make solar cells. Use vulcanized rubber this.

Meta Strom says:

That's amazing. Am I the only one thinking sex toys?

Jonathanike says:

send robotic fish to discover the deep ocean, 

Wh Neo says:

2:20 "Biological fish use the escape manoeuvre…to escape PREY…"

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