3D printed underwater robot propels itself with undulating fins

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German automation technology company Festo uses nature as the inspiration for its automated animals. Previous creations include Aquajellies (a jellyfish-like collection of robots that work together in small spaces), AquaPenguins and the Aqua_ray. The company’s next project is more mobile and able to cover greater ground. The BionicFinWave is an autonomous, underwater robot capable of swimming with nearly no churn of water. The undulating fin movement of the BionicFinWave was inspired by the marine planarian, cuttlefish and Nile perch. Additionally, the robot’s flexible materials make it ideal for industry equipment inspections and data monitoring. Sensors register its distance from other objects…

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