Blood is pumped through a "blood vessel system" and can store and supply energy.

American researchers have built a robot fish that is very reminiscent of a coral devil. But this robot is different from many others. For example, "ie has a true" blood vessel system "through which synthetic and liquid blood flows. As a result, robotic fish advances like a true coral demon and can, for example, swim against the current and vent their The study is published in the journal Nature and was funded by the US Navy.

The vascular system contains battery fluid that drives the robotic fish. "The blood of the robot has two main goals," explains researcher James Pikul out. "On the one hand, it stores energy and, on the other hand, allows the fish to swim when the blood is pumped through the synthetic vascular system. In this way, it is comparable to animal blood. "In addition, this blood is multifunctional. "This allows us to store energy throughout the robot's body while we also use the blood to operate the synthetic muscles on the robot fish," says Pikul.

Self Employed
With the robot fish, the researchers want to take new steps in the development of robotics. "We were debating ways to make robots more autonomous," says Pikul. "We realize that the operating time of most robots is very short and needs to be loaded quickly. We wanted to solve this problem by finding ways to store energy in all the components of a robot. And the robot's blood is our first demonstration of how we can store energy. "

In addition, many robots currently consist of different parts that perform specific functions. And this is actually not very useful. "For example, if we want the robot to be loaded less frequently, we need to add more batteries, but at the same time remove other parts to maintain the same weight," says Pikul. One solution to this is to use batteries that have multiple functions.

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Robotic fish
Researchers have already tried the latter on robotic fish. "We made the robotic fish to show that robotic parts can perform multiple functions and that this can drastically improve their performance and capabilities," said Pikul. "We plan to use this robotic blood to increase the performance of robots and machines that use liquids."

In several tests, the researchers examined the performance of their robot-coral demon. And synthetic blood does seem to work well. For example, robotic fish have extremely good resistance. This allows him to swim against the current at a speed of more than 1.5 times the length of his body per minute. In addition, robotic fish can move in water for 36 hours without having to be loaded in the mean time. "Compared to similar robots without synthetic blood, our robot can last up to eight times longer," concludes Pikul.