The future of marine travel may look a little more... wiggly than we thought, thanks to the efforts of a German robotics lab. The group has designed a fish robot, based on a sea bream and programmed to mimic fish swimming patterns.
The fish robot, designed by a team at TU Darmstadt, is called "Smokey," and it's made out of ten robotic segments wrapped in a "skin." It's 1.5 meters long and its motions can be matched to those of a variety of fish species. This video, which is in German, shows the prototype in action, demonstrating its motion and some of the programming behind it.
In addition to more efficient underwater motion, a fish-modeled marine propulsion method would do a lot less damage to underwater ecosystems and lead to less coastal erosion. Plus, it looks a lot cooler than a Gungan bongo.
Fish robot as an alternative marine propulsion system of the future [via Physorg]
Image from TU Darmstadt