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Picture of the Day

'Robo' fish swims alongside real ones in coral reefs

During test dives in the Rainbow Reef in Fiji, SoFi -- a soft robotic fish that can independently swim alongside real fish in the ocean -- swam at depths of more than 50 feet for up to 40 minutes at once, nimbly handling currents and taking high-resolution photos and videos using (what else?) a fisheye lens. Using its undulating tail and a unique ability to control its own buoyancy, SoFi can swim in a straight line, turn and dive up or down. The team also used a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller and developed a custom acoustic communications system that enabled them to change SoFi's speed and have it make specific moves and turns. The project is part of a larger body of work focused on soft robots, which have the potential to be safer, sturdier and more nimble than their hard-bodied counterparts.

Visit Website | Image credit: MIT CSAIL