Robots to the rescue! This amphibious robot helps after floods and tsunamis

Researchers developed an amphibious robot, AmphiSAW, for marine research and aquaculture.
Kavita Verma

Dr. David Zarrouk and his students Omer Guetta, Rotem Katz, and Dan Shachaf from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have developed a bio-friendly amphibious robot named AmphiSAW, which has the potential to search and rescue people during natural disasters, including tsunamis and floods.

Dr. Zarrouk has described this innovation, "The single motor and bioinspired design contribute significantly to the robot's efficiency, and the relative simplicity of its design means it is scalable to any size."

Applications of AmphiSAW 

With excellent swimming and crawling capabilities, the centipede look-alike has other fantastic applications, including fish feeding, marine surveillance, reconnaissance and security missions, and aquaculture.   

Built over 20 years, the robot, which promises endless possibilities, still has many limitations like its significant reliance on actuators,  external tethers, creating water ripples that may scare aquatic animals, complex controlling systems, massive size, slow speed, and high weight limiting real-life usage. Also, the researchers are continuously working on reducing its energy consumption so it can be deployed in large numbers for examining massive areas. 

AI-powered bots have evolved to become powerful tools for people, businesses, government organizations, and industries across the globe. Autonomous innovations continue to surprise and assist humans. 

How does AmphiSAW operate?

With the development in technology, the brilliant minds of BGU created AmphiSaw, which crawls at 1.5 body lengths per sec and swims at 0.74 B/s. Its head is attached to two independently rotating wheels or legs to increase its crawling speed over rough terrains.

With this, the speed of the crawler on land increases up to 4B/s. The overall body of the robot is lightweight and 3D-printed. It uses a wave propulsion mechanism that helps in generating a sine wave by using a single motor. The cost of developing the robot is less than others, and it weighs around 3 lbs (1.2kg).

"We succeeded in designing a mechanism that produces a wave that progresses simply with one motor, and this is Ben-Gurion's unique patent. The mechanism is built of a coil and links. When the robot's coil rotates, the links rise and fall with the coil and produce wave motion. It is a very energy-efficient mechanism, and our hypothesis is that the mechanism. The new one we created can compete with propellers in terms of energy.", Dr. David Zarok explains.

Ben-Gurion is taking crucial steps to develop energy-efficient robots that can simplify complex tasks to assist humans. The main goal of their invention is to help people tackle global issues.

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