BIOSwimmer Robotic Tuna To Patrol Homeland

BIOSwimmer is a robot tuna funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This biomimetic device has been designed to swim the waters off the United States coast.BI


(BIOSwimmer robotic tuna)

The "BIOSwimmer" robot features faithfully replicated fins and a flexible tail to pull off quick maneuvers like the real-life fish. Homeland Security made the choice to fund the robot made by the Boston Engineering Corporation in Waltham, Mass., with an eye toward missions such as exploring the flooded areas of ships, inspecting oil tankers or patrolling U.S. harbors to watch out for suspicious activity.

"It's called 'biomimetics,'" said David Taylor, program manager for the BIOSwimmer at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. "We're using nature as a basis for design and engineering a system that works exceedingly well."

SF fans react with glee at the prospect of robotic tuna, so close to the Mitsubishi Robot Turbot from Michael Swanwick's 2002 story Slow Life:

Consuelo carefully cleaned both of her suitís gloves in the sea, then seized the shrink-wrapís zip tab and yanked. The plastic parted. Awkwardly, she straddled the fish, lifted it by the two side-handles, and walked it into the dark slush.

She set the fish down. "Now Iím turning it on." The Mitsubishi turbot wriggled, as if alive. With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone...

The turbot was equipped to run hundreds of on-the-spot analyses.

Don't bother angling for more robotic fish articles at Google; reel them in here:

  - MIT Robofish Now More Fishy
  - Coelacanth Robot Discovered In Japan
  - Could Robot Fish Lead Gulf Fish To Safety?
  - Robofish Quick As Startled Pike
  - Robot Fish Lead, Real Fish Follow
  - SHOAL Robotic Fish Patrol Harbors

Via Mother Nature Network.

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