Knifefish, a native animal to the Amazon River having a long ribbon fin which is used to navigate the complex Amazon environment. A professor at Florida Atlantic University Oscar Curet spends the last couple of years on learning and understanding the movements and behavior of this fish. He said describing the problem of mobility that the current robotics engineers are facing, that nature has already solved some of the problems that we face today.
Along with some other researchers from the Florida Atlantic University have created a robotic fish that resembles the Knifefish in many ways. 16 motors, 3-D printed materials and a bunch of sensors are incorporated into the prototype. The US Navy recently funded the team and asked them to incorporate a Volumetric PIV (Particle Image Velocity) system into their prototype. Capturing the current in three dimensions, the four cameras synced with a LASER light will give the researchers a better idea about the behavior of fluid dynamics with flexible propulsion unit which the team has designed to make the underwater robotic vehicle more maneuverable. Curet mentioned in a statement that despite the efficiency our current underwater vehicles are not very maneuverable in complex environments.
For an instance, our current day submarines are not very maneuverable, slow in movement, need a huge radius of curvature and depend on many propellers in order to increase their mobility. Testing of underwater structures, Surveillance and underwater floor survey etc. can be achieved with the robo-fish that the team is still testing believed Curet and his team.