Inspired by the biomechanics of the manta ray, researchers at North Carolina State University have developed an energy-efficient soft robot that can swim more than four times faster than previous swimming soft robots. The robots are called “butterfly bots,” because their swimming motion resembles the way a person’s arms move when they are swimming the butterfly stroke.
“To date, swimming soft robots have not been able to swim faster than one body length per second, but marine animals – such as manta rays – are able to swim much faster, and much more efficiently,” says Jie Yin, corresponding author of a paper on the work and an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State. “We wanted to draw on the biomechanics of these animals to see if we could develop faster, more energy-efficient soft robots. The prototypes we’ve developed work exceptionally well.”Read: North Carolina State University
‘Butterfly Bot’ Is Fastest Swimming Soft Robot Yet | North Carolina State University