A fish-shaped robot allows data on the behavior of life at sea, the authors of this innovation reported, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States.
The marine animal, made of silicone, called SoFi, can swim independently along with the real ones to study how fish respond to different changes in their environment, they noted in the article published in Science Robotics.
According to the main author, Robert Katzschmann, as far as we know, this is the first of its kind that moves without ties in three dimensions, for long periods of time.
The robot is capable of making close observations and interactions with marine life and seems not to disturb the real fish, said author Daniela Rus.
We see SoFi as a first step to develop almost a type of underwater observatory, added the director of the Laboratory of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at MIT.
It has the potential to be a new kind of tool for ocean exploration and open new ways to discover the mysteries of that world, he concluded.
During the trial period, SoFi swam at depths of more than 50 feet for 40 minutes.