Squid Robot Ready to Shoot Underwater

So, what would you do if you bumped into this color-changing robot underwater?
Deniz Yildiran

Engineers from the University of California San Diego put up a robot for underwater exploration. And it looks pretty much like an average squid. 

We're already familiar with many submarines and ships taking on a similar duty but this one can be considered a smaller version. The squid-like robot swims freely without any cables and generates jets of water to forge forward. 

The detail of the work has been published in a recent issue of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics


The design is pretty delicately unearthed to not damage fish and coral throughout the exploration. It mainly involves soft materials such as acrylic polymer and a few 3D printed and laser-cut parts. In the end, no one would rather make matters worse while trying to be helpful. 

The robot quite functions as a big pump to swim around. It takes a volume of water to lay up elastic energy inside its body, then depletes the energy by compressing its body, in turn, it moves forward and directs itself. 

At each end of the robot, there are two circular plates placed in. The one in the front supports a camera to guide its way while the other one acts as a power-motor, which helps eject the water inside. 

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 Using soft materials usually avoids maneuvering and keeping a high speed. However, implementing the jet propulsion enabled the robot to keep up with any aquatic invertebrates as the details suggest.

“Essentially, we recreated all the key features that squids use for high-speed swimming,” Michael T. Tolley, one of the paper’s senior authors and a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, said. “This is the first untethered robot that can generate jet pulses for rapid locomotion like the squid and can achieve these jet pulses by changing its body shape, which improves swimming efficiency.”