Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Robotic fish gain new sense: Navigate water currents and turbulence

Date:
March 6, 2013
Source:
Tallinn University of Technology
Summary:
Scientists have developed robots with a new sense -- lateral line sensing. All fish have this sensing organ but so far it had no technological counterpart on human-made underwater vehicles.

Robotic fish.
Credit: Image courtesy of Tallinn University of Technology

Scientists have developed robots with a new sense -- lateral line sensing. All fish have this sensing organ but so far it had no technological counterpart on human-made underwater vehicles.

Related Articles


In an article published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, researchers describe a robotic fish that is controlled with the help of lateral line sensors.

During the last 4 years, the EU funded European research project FILOSE has investigated fish lateral line sensing and locomotion with the aims of understanding how fish detect and exploit flow features, and of developing efficient underwater robots based on biological principles.

Though flow is a highly volatile and unsteady state of matter, it can nonetheless be measured and characterized based on many salient features that do not change much in space and time (such as flow direction or turbulence intensity, for example). These salient features can then be described as a "flowscape" -- a flow landscape that helps fish and robots to orient themselves, navigate and control their movements.

"So far flow in robotics is treated as a disturbance that drives the robots away from their planned course," says Prof. Maarja Kruusmaa, the Scientific Coordinator of the FILOSE project. "We have shown that flow is also a source of information that can be exploited to better control the vehicle. Also, flow can be a source of energy if we can understand the flow dynamics and interact with eddies and currents in a clever way."

Experiments with flow sensing and actuation in FILOSE have demonstrated that a fish robot can save energy by finding energetically favorable regions in the flow where the currents are weaker or by interacting with eddies so that they help to push the robot forward. The robots are also able to detect flow direction and swim upstream or hold station in the flow while compensating for the downstream drift by measuring the flow speed. FILOSE robot hovering in the wake of an object in the flow is demonstrated to reduce its energy consumption. "It is similar to reducing your effort in the tailwind of another cyclist or reducing the fuel consumption of your car by driving behind a truck," Prof. Kruusmaa says.

Several prototype artificial lateral lines and robot actuators were developed in FILOSE to experimentally investigate different aspects of sensing and locomotion in fluids, such as how to use compliant materials to efficiently swim in turbulence, how to build robots that are mechanically simple but still behave like fish, how to interpret flow features and use them for controlling the vehicles, and how to measure robot's own motion from the flow signals.

The FILOSE project has contributed to our understanding of the "fish-centric" viewpoint of the aquatic environment. "Robotic experiments have also helped us to understand fish behaviour," says FILOSE collaborator Prof. William Megill, who led the University of Bath's contribution to the project. "By recording flow sensor data from a robotic fish head which we've programmed to move like a real fish in similar flow conditions, we are able to understand what fish are able to perceive."

The lateral line sensing fish robots have been a joint effort of experts in fish biology (University of Bath, UK), underwater robotics (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia), mechanical engineering (Riga Technical University, Latvia), signal analysis and flow perception (Verona University, Italy) and of sensor technology (Italian Institute of Technology).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tallinn University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Salumae, M. Kruusmaa. Flow-relative control of an underwater robot. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2013; 469 (2153): 20120671 DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2012.0671

Cite This Page:

Tallinn University of Technology. "Robotic fish gain new sense: Navigate water currents and turbulence." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306084201.htm>.
Tallinn University of Technology. (2013, March 6). Robotic fish gain new sense: Navigate water currents and turbulence. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306084201.htm
Tallinn University of Technology. "Robotic fish gain new sense: Navigate water currents and turbulence." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130306084201.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spain's New 'Google Tax' Makes News Feeds Pay For Links

Spain's New 'Google Tax' Makes News Feeds Pay For Links

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Spanish lawmakers have passed new IP rules requiring aggregators to pay for linking to news sites, following a broader trend across the E.U. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Microsoft Launches Fitness Band After Accidental Reveal

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Microsoft accidentally revealed its upcoming fitness band on Wednesday, so the company went ahead and announced it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins