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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Robotic Eel

You might think that anything robotic, co-developed to mimic an eel, one of those delicious seafood creatures the Japanese (and myself) love to eat, would have to be the brainchild of Japan.

But no.

The 30-centimeters (one-foot) long transparent robotic eel, seen here with added fluorescent dye, is the brainchild of scientists from the University of California San Diego, and the University of California Berkeley.

To be utilized in saltwater, it is powered by a water-filled elastomer artificial waters, rather than a motor.
The robotic eel was inspired by real-life transparent eel larvae.
The scientists are looking to further develop the robotic eel to become an untethered eel robot, and have already successful had it swim with undulating muscles at a rate of 1.9 mm per second in tanks containing real sea creatures such as jelly fish, fish and coral.  There are plans to add a camera to its head… which means this could be an awesome unobtrusive way to observe sea life in its natural habit.   

I only mention any of this to warn the Japanese (and myself) that their next eel meal may not taste as delicious as in the old days.

Kanpai,
Andrew Joseph 
PS: Images are by the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering


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