The strange looking four-finned robot doesn’t look like much until it is placed in the water when its fins start undulating and it begins to dance through the water. Inspired by the movements of cuttlefish, Sepios is a unique robot with quiet, efficient and agile motion underwater.
Sepios was created by Pascal Buholzer and fellow students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, to show that there are other propulsion designed that are more environmentally friendly alternative to propellers. Underwater plants can get tangled in spinning blades, they can physically hurt animals it may accidentally hit and propeller noise can stress and deflect the sounds of whales and dolphins that can be extremely harmful.
But the design of Sepios puts it in a different category. The robot was filmed easily navigating through a bed of seagrass even in stormy conditions. The arrangement of its fins allows it to move easily in any direction while each fin can be steered individually for precise control. Unlike other propulsion systems, Sepios is nearly quiet in the water.
[via New Scientist]