How Bizarre

Soft robots go swimming

A new robotic fish can wiggle and writhe like the real thing

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3:03pm, April 8, 2014

SUITING UP  Building robotic fish (one shown), may give researchers a way to sneak into groups of fish and track the schools' behaviors.

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A new robotic fish can wiggle and writhe like the real thing. With a squishy silicone body and a bellyful of electronics, the little swimmer flips and turns nearly as fast as living fish do. To make the robot so nimble, MIT engineers sandwiched a firm plastic sheet between hollow channels embedded in each side of the tail. Spurts of gas inflate the channels on one side, which push against the plastic sheet to bend the tail.

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