Robots inspired by nature

Nature has often been a source of inspiration in film and literature, but more recently, engineers have gotten into the natural trend, designing robots inspired by wildlife. This development demonstrates how our surrounding environment can influence human innovation and strengthens the interaction between humans and machines.

Robot fish plays the role of a leader

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Researchers from NYU's Polytechnic Institute have designed a bio-inspired robotic super fish. About 9 centimetres long, the robot was built to replicate the tail propulsion of a swimming fish, varying its tail beat frequency and flow speeds. In nature, schools of fish tend to follow the leading fish who beats their tail with a greater frequency. Experiments using the robot fish to simulate the tail movement of a leader fish exhibited the same collective animal behaviour. The researchers hypothesised that robotic leaders could help lead fish away from environmental disasters. Image: NYU Polytechnic Institute

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