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English (en)

Bio-inspired underwater robots

Bio-inspired underwater robots
Original Language Title: 
Bioloogiast inspireeritud allveerobotid


We introduce a new paradigm into the field of underwater robotics, namely robots that use new types of:

  • sensing to interpret flow information
  • soft embodiment and flexible actuators that can reduce energy consumption and harvest energy from flow
  • control algorithms that help the vehicle navigate with respect to flow.

The method of this research topic is mainly biomimetics, using and analogy to biological systems to solve problems in engineering. Mostly, it is based on the analogy between:

  • fish lateral line sensing and robotic sensors for flow sensing
  • biological propulsors (fins and flippers) and flexible man-made hydrofoils.

The secondary approach is reverse biomimetics. Namely we use:

  • artificial lateral line sensors to understand river hydrodynamics and migrating fish behaviour in rivers
  • fish robots to understand fish school dynamics and kin recognition.

The proposal advances those technologies from laboratory conditions (TRL4) to field tests in operational environments (TRL7).

Funding Source(s): 
Estonian Research Council
Lead Organisation: 

Tallinna Tehnika Uelikool

Ehitajate tee 5
Development phase: