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A Fish Caused Wonder: new swimming robot inspired by nature

11 September 2018

The undulating fin movements of marine animals such as the cuttlefish provided the inspiration for a new Bionic concept swimming robot from Festo. Called the Bionic FinWave, its ability to negotiate pipework while transmitting valuable data about parameters such as temperature and pressure was identified during research within the Bionic Learning Network.

This demonstrated that the technology has further development potential in process industry applications. 

Festo Bionic projects like FinWave are proof-of-technology demonstrators. Using lessons from nature combined with the latest ideas from Festo’s research departments, they present complex technology in a graphic and interesting way, generating discussion and engagement with customers and future partners.

The Bionic FinWave features a fin drive unit that is particularly suitable for slow, precise motion and causes less turbulence in the water than, say, a conventional screw propulsion drive. With this form of propulsion, the underwater robot can manoeuvre itself autonomously while communicating wirelessly with the outside world and transmitting data to the cloud or a local tablet. 


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