Researchers at Brown University and the National Autonomous University of Mexico have created a floating robot called RoboKrill. Its appearance was borrowed from a shrimp called krill (Euphausia superba). For smooth movement in the underwater depths, the microrobot is able to imitate the kinematics of live krill.
“Before this project, I was doing various research aimed at understanding the role of plankton aggregations in the ocean. To this end, I conducted an experiment where I controlled the behavior of organisms using light signals. After that, I thought it would be a good idea, instead of externally controlling the behavior of organisms, to use a robotic system that has the same dynamic signature as floating living things,” Monika M. Wilhelmus, one of the researchers who conducted the study.
In the future, RoboKrill can be used by biologists and environmental scientists to remotely study the marine environment and collect scientific data at inaccessible depths. At the same time, the team does not plan to dwell on the possibility of further modification of their robot, as well as assessing its performance in natural conditions.
“Now we will study the influence of semi-kinematic morphological features and dynamic interactions in thrust generation and optimize important parameters to develop a simplified system that we can then scale down. Our ultimate goal is to design a small system and use it, for example, to intervene in various compact environments,” Monika Wilhelmus shared her plans.