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Emulating How Krill Swim to Build Robotic Platform for Ocean Navigation

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The Pleobot, a small robotic platform that emulates krill-like swimming.

According to the study, Pleobot has the potential to allow the scientific community to understand how to take advantage of 100 million years of evolution to engineer better robots for ocean navigation.

Credit: Wilhelmus Lab

Researchers at Brown University and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México invented a robotic platform that mimics metachronal swimming to navigate underwater.

The Pleobot platform features three articulated sections that reproduce this swimming technique to understand how creatures like krill function in marine environments and can migrate vertically over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) twice a day.

Metachronal swimming supports high-level maneuverability that krill practice by sequentially deploying their swimming legs in a wavy back-to-front dynamic.

The researchers can actively maneuver Pleobot's two leg segments and passively direct its biramous fins.

They envision Pleobot leading to deployable robot swarms that can map oceans, conduct search-and-recovery missions over large areas, or explore extraterrestrial oceans.

From News from Brown
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