Boffins plan a robot that walks and swims
Abu Dhabi scientists are developing a revolutionary robot that can walk on land and underwater as well as swim like a fish.
The legs of the robot, which can climb over boulders on dry land, can also row “like a Viking boat” when the robot is in the sea.
It’s believed to be the first robot of its kind that can walk up steep hills on land and swim in the sea - without the use of propellers that are normally used in underwater submersibles.
The robot will be known as a Teleoperated Unmanned Robot For Telemetry And Legged Exploration (TURTLE) and a prototype is being designed “for experimental testing in the near future”.
The robot will be powered by batteries recharged by solar panels.
In a new science paper, Dr Sam Cubero, the brains behind the new robot, said his team hope to do away with rotary propellers as they waste energy and instead use tail-like propulsion similar to the swishing movement of “a shark, fish or dolphin”.
TURTLE will be controlled by remote - using long distance radio and satellite technology - and will be able to work by itself if remote control is not available.
Cubero has four engineering students working with him at the Petroleum Institute to bring his dream to reality.
They have secured $65,000 in funding but still need a further $150,000.
Cubero told 7DAYS it is “very early days”, adding: “I will need funding to complete it with all the sensors, 3D scanners and vision systems. It is a huge project.”