Eel Robots Ideal For Naval Warfare

A team of researchers from Singapore led by Jianxin Xu recently debuted a robotic eel design prototype that could signal the future of undersea warfare.


(Eel robot prototype)

“Anguilliform [eel like] fish consume less energy when on a long distance journey than regular autonomous underwater vehicles,” Xu told Defense One. “They are highly maneuverable and flexible, making them more suitable than Gliders for navigating small spaces… The noiseless propulsion is another advantage” for the military, he says. “They’re less detectable than robot subs that propel themselves the same way as conventional subs.”

Xu’s design represents a breakthrough robotic fish that effectively mimic the rather unique way that eels and other anguilliform fish swim...

Several researchers—writing in the journal Nature in the year 2000—found that European eels are able to migrate from Europe to the Sargasso Sea in the West Indies on almost no food, suggesting that anguilliform swimming conserves more energy than previously thought.

Anguilliform swimming displaces water evenly compared to thunniform swimming... That smoothness could make some sea drones less detectable than others to future highly sensitive ship sensors.

Eel bots can explore difficult to navigate reefs, hulls and undersea geological formations in a way that other fish types can’t. Xu says that future prototypes of his robot will require less and less guidance to operate. They’ll self-navigate through difficult or dark crawl spaces, which also means fewer operators presiding over more robots, potentially making them even more cost efficient for the Navy.

“Currently our anguilliform fish swim by using exogenous sensing information, namely, external cameras,” he said. “Since we have developed a motion controller and motion library for the prototype, by installing environmental detecting sensors such as infrared or sonar, the robotic fish can carry out tasks in an autonomous manner.”

Let's face it, eel robots are also more terrifying. Fans of the swimming robot terminators from the 2009 film Terminator Salvation were efficient underwater guardians.


(Swimming robots from Terminator Salvation)

SF fans may also recall Murray Leinster's excellent 1942 short story The Wabbler, which features a robotic undersea munition with eel-like mobility.

...The Wabbler lay in its place, with its tenfoot tail coiled neatly above its lower end, and waited with a sort of deadly patience...

The Wabbler leaned infinitesimally toward the shore. Presently its flexible tail ceased to be curved where it lay upon the ooze. It straightened out. Then the Wabbler moved. Shoreward...
(Read more about Leinster's Wabbler)

Via DefenseOne.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/1/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.' Otfrid von Hanstein, 1935.

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?' - Alice W. Fuller, 1895.

Stan, Robot Valet, Will Drag Your Car Away
'He activated the grapple tracks. ' - Frank Herbert, 1977.

Jibo Home Robot Says Goodbye, Is Killswitched
'It resembles an oyster....' Philip K. Dick, 1968.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

BrainEx Restores Some Activity To Severed Pig Head
'... they placed the brain in a special solution, having all the properties of Nursing the brain cells.'

Yes, But Do Astrobees Have Lasers For Lightsaber Training?
'... Ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.'

'Young Razorbacks Before Their Katanas Grow In'
'Twin robotic arms with gleaming three-foot sword blades unfolded from the forward hydraulic assemblies...'

A New Way To Run Into Things
'He made an adjustment, pointed the tube at the wall beside Etzwane, and projected a cone of light.'

'Metallic Wood' Strong Like Titanium, Floats In Water
'A metal... light as cork and stronger than steel...'

Seabreacher, H.G. Winter's 1939 Torpoon
'Ken lay full-length in the padded body compartment, his feet resting on the controlling bars of the directional planes, hands on the torpoon's engine levers.'

Abundant Robotics Autonomous Apple Harvester Robot
'... little machines, that went from plant to plant... cutting off the ripe fruit.'

Charging An Electric Car In 2019 (Video), 1912 (Photo) And 1894 (Fiction)
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Japan Uses Explosives On Asteroid
'...a tiny, rocket-powered projectile, drove towards the mysterious bulk. It hit, exploding into a cloud of incandescent vapour.'

Get Your Speeder Flying Motorcycle From Jetpack Aviation
'The flycycles were miracles of compact design.'

FLIR Black Hornet 3 Palm-sized Drone
These drones can provide situational awareness beyond visual line-of-sight capability.

Dockworkers Protest Driverless Trucks
'It resembled conventional human-operated transportation vehicles, but with one exception -- there was no driver's cabin.'

Flying Car Concept By Kash Sirinanda
'Each one consists of a hub with many tiny spokes... On the end is a squat foot, rubber tread on the bottom...'

Unfurl The Future! Huawei Mate X versus Galaxy Fold
'A paper thin polycarbon screen unfurled silently from the top of the unit and immediately grew rigid.'

Amazon Echo And Google Home Should Have Morality Software
'The Dwoskin Morality Rating-Computer could 'spot the slightest tendency to deviation' from the social norm...'

China Building Robot Wives
'Want a life-companion, a pleasant one?'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.