Robotic Octopus To Take Over The Seas

Much of robotics has been advanced by recreating animals movements – Why reinvent the wheel when nature got it right first? But have you seen many aquatic creatures movements re-imagined with mechanical linkages? The Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas (FORTH) has recently presented their robotic octopus at the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

The eight armed (or is it legged?) roboctopus was based on of a real octopus which have a really cool method of propulsion which allows them to move at speeds of up to 40km/h. The researchers in Greece created slim silicon arms to recreate this movement, allowing their robot to propel itself at speeds of around 10cm/s — after adding webs to the arms, they were able to almost double its top speed to 18cm/s, or one-half its body length per second.

The cool thing about the bot is that other marine wild-life seem relatively unperturbed by it, which could open up many possibilities in underwater research!

Between robotic kangaroos, rats, red snappers and even elephants we’ll be able to have a robotic zoo in no time!

[via TechPlus24]

12 thoughts on “Robotic Octopus To Take Over The Seas

    1. But amazing for a robotic imitation that can’t *quite* imitate the original properly. Tentacles are a LITTLE bit hard to imitate in robots, what with the infinite degree of flexibility and all.

  1. Greeks invented a robotic octopus? Did they eat it when they were done? Anyway it looks like it swims more like a jellyfish, why not forget the tentacles and just go for a full “cowl” or whatever the hell you call a jellyfish head.

    1. As a biologist, i couldn’t disagree more: Jellyfish swim with contractions of the bell (as Royell very correctly remarked) or as others call it: hood. Cephalopods on the other side, display a much wider range of motion modes. The ones displayed here, are motions performed mainly by the tentacles (an organ homologous to the foot of a gastropod (snail). Other modes of motion involve the contraction of the mantle which might initially look like the motion of the jellyfish but is in fact a more involved and much faster mode of motion.

  2. Being a swimmer and looking at the motion in the footage provided I wonder why they didn’t incorporate a one-way water inlet valve. In strokes life the a portion of your forward motion is taken up by the recoil phase of the stroke, the same goes for the way the footage in this video shows its swim pattern. A simple oneway valve would reduce the drag caused by turbulance and resistance of the water refilling the expanding webbing of the tenticles. I would not be suprised if they could double their current speed and reduce energy consumption by including inlet valves.

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