Team UV is not the only one who has an interest in underwater technology! The latest in underwater robotics has taken inspiration from the undulating motion of the cuttlefish, rather than conventional methods such as propellers and solid fins. Previous attempts at fish like robotics have produced decent mimics of fish motion, however, they have always been rather limited in terms of agility and precision. Researchers form Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich are set to change this thought with their four finned cuttlefish inspired Sepios robot. Sepios carries a 20,000mAh battery, which is good for as much as 90 minutes of dive time with a top speed of 1.8 km per hour (~1.12 mph or 1.64 ft/s). The current version is only rated for use at depths up to 10 meters (~32.8 ft), which is plenty to explore coastal waters and film wildlife.
Sepios can see effortlessly through a forest of seagrass, even in stormy conditions. Each fin can be controlled separately allowing the robot to move in any direction with ease. The team is now working on improving the coordination of its many sensors, for example pressure and humidity detectors and an on-board camera, laser and inertial measurement unit that help it avoid collisions.
Maybe Sepios will be swimming with Team UV’s underwater vehicle in the future! 🙂