Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Mechanical Engineering have revealed a new underwater robotic manta ray. Created to emulate the swimming locomotion of the manta ray for research and surveillance purposes. The robotic manta ray is capable of swimming at a speed of twice its body lengths per second for up to 10 hours on a single charge, allowing researchers to carry out underwater surveillance without disturbing the natural ecosystem.
Manta rays are considered one of nature’s most efficient swimmers, possessing a unique propulsion mechanism, unlike any other underwater species. Enabling them to cruise through rough seas easily. The propulsion system of the Manta Ray has inspired many researchers to try and include similar movements into autonomous underwater vehicles however the team at NUS have accomplished the task with astonishing efficiency.
“Unlike other flapping-based underwater robots that replicate manta ray’s flapping kinematics by using multiple motors to achieve active actuations throughout the fins, MantaDroid is powered by only one electric motor on each fin. We then let the passive flexibility of the fins interact naturally with the fluid dynamics of the water to propel the subsequent motions,” For more information jump over to the official NUSLife YouTube channel by following the link below.