Science breakthrough: lifelike robotic fish with multipurpose ‘blood’

Many years have passed since the first shy, yet certain steps science took in robotic engineering. Back in the old days, when robots were seen more as another experiment scientists were playing with, nowadays there’s no doubt the great progress this field has taken. Each new robot profile carries traits that bring it closer and closer to our own human nature. However, the lack of flexibility and autonomy is something many skeptics have boasted about.

But far gone are those days because science development has reached a point where lifelike robots are not just a dream anymore, but a reality. It seems that a robotic lionfish has been created, being fully pumped with life-giving ‘blood’.

This last breakthrough in science brings a different perspective on power providing mechanisms. While common robot profiles get their energy from a battery or a gear, this lionfish, fully pumped with ‘blood’, contains a single system that provides not just power, but also propulsion, through its circulatory processes. The fact of the matter is that the ‘blood’ supports the entire system through an electrolyte solution, which makes it act as both a hydraulic fluid and energy storage. And all this for what? For a lifelike aquatic creature that holds the capacity to swim for almost 36 hours, which is a duration eight times longer than the same robotic profile, but without the synthetic blood.

Behind all this innovation is a team of Cornwell and Pennsylvania University scientists, who proudly state that their experiment is the first attempt of creating a multipurpose system, which results from bringing together the hydraulic force transmission, actuation, and energy storage. There is no doubt that this is something to greatly enhance the soft robots’ functionality, but specialists strongly believe that this breakthrough can, as well, bring many positive effects in all profiles that need fluid in order to properly function. Think about electric vehicles and airplanes that could get a power boost thanks to this ‘smart blood’. Anyway, one thing is certain: science has reached a closer point to lifelike robots, which are bound to bring along both ups and downs to human life.

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