The Festo Aqua Ray is yet another robot that makes use of the company's fluidic muscles to achieve smooth motion similar to that seen in nature.
Take a few moments to enjoy the serenity of robotic movement.
(Festo Aqua Ray robot video)
This video does a nice job of showing off the Aqua Ray robot; however, there is a much better video that shows off what is under the skin. Unfortunately, it is narrated in German. Here are a few captured pictures; see the video here.
Aqua_ray is a remote-controlled fish driven by water hydraulics, the shape and movements of which have been based on the model of a manta ray.
The central drive and control unit of Aqua_ray takes the form of a Festo Fluidic Muscle. This is combined with the Fin Ray Effect®, a design based on the functional anatomy of a fish’s fin that makes it possible to imitate the fin drive of the natural role model almost perfectly.
As the Aqua_ray can be manoeuvred extremely well, and can be operated both as a hydrostatic glider and with an active wing beat, substantial energy savings can be achieved. Thanks to its shape and method of movement, the Aqua_ray can be used in wide ranging areas of oceanography, without disrupting the natural environment.
Through the use of new elastic materials for all moving components
and for the 3D-deformable skin, and by matching the elasticity
and self-adaptive characteristics of the internal wing and tail structures
to the hydrodynamic forces, it has been possible to reproduce
the kinematics of nature’s marine model. Water is essential to
Aqua_ray’s function, since entirely authentic movement can only be
attained in combination with this medium and its special characteristics.