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Robotic Fish on display at FC Expo 2010

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010 at 9:29 pm by

A robotic fish was on display at FC Expo 2010. A team from Osaka City University exhibited a small fish, who’s swimming is powered by a cylindrical solid polymer fuel cell called PowerTube. The 100mm-long robotic fish is driven by a magnetic actuator and can rise and dive by changing it’s syncro device center of gravity. This gives this robotic fish a swimming style that closely matches real fish.

Powered by a lithium polymer battery, this robotic fish was first designed to use a motor, an approach that proved to consume too much power. Next, the designers though of using a neodymium magnet inside of a coil, and then passing a current through it. This made the magnet move from side to side, and therefore propel the fish forward. Utilizing this method, they were able to reduce the power draw to just 10 milliwatts!! In the future, more complicated motions can be programmed to mimic different swimming styles.

Researcher think this may allow them to more closely study schools of fish in the wild, as the fish are less likely to fear a machine that resembles them, then a “clunky-looking machine”.

Alright, let’s wraps these little guys in some silicone, and toss them in our tank. Let’s make the first one a Gem Tang!

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