Applications for robots | Underwater robots help raise awareness of marine environment

28/02/2022

In your mind, what shape should a robot be? Like a human? Or like a puppy?
The most you have seen would be robots on land, such as the Netflix robots in banks, but have you ever seen a robot in the water? Recently, in Shanghai, China, a shark-like robot appeared public debut at an aquarium. What is he used for? Is it for patrolling?

This bionic whale shark is the first robot of its kind in the world. It can be remotely programmed and controlled, and the developers are planning to give it more practical functions.

It is a large underwater ornamental bionic fish carefully bred by the underwater bionic team of the Institute of Science and Technology, capable of highly simulating the movements of a real whale shark, almost identical to the real one, which is not only cool but also full of technology. She is seen swimming side by side with thousands of colorful and exotic fish in a large seven-degree tilted immersive exhibition tank, attracting the attention of many visitors.

This is the world's first bionic whale shark, 4.7m long and weighing 350kg, with a bionic mask and underwater positioning function, capable of completing straight lines, turning, surfacing, diving, fixing depth, mouth opening and closing, gill splitting, bait throwing and other actions in the water, with a variety of control methods such as wireless remote control, programmed swimming and autonomous swimming. This high-tech behemoth is flexible underwater, with a maximum swimming speed of 0.7m/s, and can also dive to a maximum depth of 10m. Fang Xuelin, a member of the project development team and assistant director of the Underwater Propulsion Technology Research Office at Factory 111, said, "The specially designed waterproof motor is connected to various key parts of the whale shark through waterproof cables, and a single charge can satisfy a day of the underwater performance."

The initial aim of the developer was to raise awareness of the marine environment.

Hopefully, in the future, we will also be able to work with underwater robots, which is a challenge and an opportunity for us in the future. 

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