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Gymnobot looks to fish for inspiration, a little companionship

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Alright, so it may not be quite as terrifying as something like Carnegie Mellon's robotic snake or NC State's remote-control bats, but this so-called Gymnobot from the University of Bath does boast some animal-mimicking abilities of its own and, if all goes as planned, it could eventually grow a whole lot bigger. Its secret is a single fin underneath its body that mimics the way a knifefish swims, which just so happens to also be an extremely efficient way for a robot to propel itself through the water. That, the researchers say, could eventually be adapted for larger autonomous or remotely operated vehicles, would be able to maneuver in shallow water and other areas that are problematic for propeller-driven craft. Head on past the break to check it out in action.

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