Taking cues from nature, engineers have built a number of
different robots designed after animal counterparts, everything from
to fish. Now, meet U-CAT, the robot sea turtle. Its job: To plunge into
the ocean depths and unlock the secrets of various shipwrecks.
Many of us are familiar with the Pengaton's Cheetah robot — the world's fastest… Read more Read more Unsatisfied with the crawling, writhing, coiling and climbing abilities of their existing hoard of… Read more Read more
U-CAT's main virtues are its small body and high
maneuverability — these two qualities are absolutely necessary to
investigate the confined spaces of shipwrecks. Rather than use propellers, the
robot, which has no connecting cables, moves around using its
four independently driven flippers. It can swim up and down, forward and
backward, and pivot on the spot.
"Fin propulsors of U-CAT can drive the robot in all
directions without disturbing water and beating up silt from the bottom, which
would decrease visibility inside the shipwreck," U-CAT concept designer
said in a
statement. The turtle also has an onboard video camera, which will
allow Salumäe and his colleagues to map out and study the interiors of wrecked
U-CAT is part of ARROWS, a research project that seeks to
develop technologies to assist marine archaeologists. U-CAT and other ARROWS
tech are slated for field tests in the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.
If you're in London this weekend, head on over to the
Science Museum and check out its
Safari exhibition, where you'll get to meet U-CAT and other robot animals.