The makers of quadrocopters and other fun robots at ETH Zurich may be landlubbers, but that does not stop them from designing objects that swim. The Swiss students are working on a turtle-inspired bot that can swim with efficiency while carrying plenty of cargo. The Naro-Tartaruga may not be as glide-y as a fish or eelbot, but it might be easier to build, and it is better for carrying payloads and robot parts like batteries and controllers.
As of now, the robot is a cylindrical aluminum vessel with turtle-inspired flippers, which will help it propel itself through the water. Concept designs include the more realistic-looking turtlebot seen above. The research team at ETH Zurich started with a tuna in 2008, studying how to imitate its movement in water. The main goal is to pick a winner between flapping fins and propellers. Whichever is more efficient could power new generations of ocean-inspired underwater autonomous vehicles.
[via IEEE Spectrum]
Whereas I believe it is brilliant to be taking cues from nature. I wonder how fragile such a machine might be should a shark try to take a bite. I'm no expert but I believe I've heard sharks may attack people on surf boards as from below they appear to look like a seal. If this machine looks and moves like a turtle, it may be mistaken for a meal. Aside from the loss of the equipment contamination from spillage of cargo would be an additional concern.
I can already imagine a fleet of robot turtles smuggling drugs from South America to North America.
Maybe not in turtle shape, but yes I see better submarines being develop with automation and no crew doing exactly what you say, via computers and GPS guidance. I wouldn’t be surprise, if it’s going on right now and just not caught for all of us to know about it.
Drug Lords do not have to be smart. They just need to hire smart people to achieve their goals.
The coastguard has apprehended one cocaine pushing turtle and 5 stoned sharks
@ JohnLH maybe it will give off a electric field and sharks will dart away.
I love that its mounted to the extruded aluminum frame. I use it all the time and its so easy to whip a structure together in a snap!
It's quite a leap to go from a proof-of-concept prototype about the size of a fire extinguisher to a fully functioning aquatic cargo vessel capable of autonomous operation in all seas. However, the headline writer was late for their 5th period Health class and made the leap for us.
CLever thought, using nature to inspire machines... wait a second...
Otherwise, not a bad idea. You'd save milions from the cargo that would be lost due to extreme storms.
Robot, Alastes, I think that it would be a liiiiitle dificult for a drug lord to get his hands on one of these. They already have narco-subs, and those they can just GPS guide to location without spending too much. They may be evil and disguisting creatures of filth and despair, but they are businessmen. Which is why theu are the above.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.