The marine planarian, cuttlefish and Nile perch have one thing in common: in order to propel themselves, they use their fins to generate a continuous wave, which advances along their entire length. With this so-called undulating fin movement, the BionicFinWave also manoeuvres through a pipe system made of acrylic glass. At the same time the autonomous underwater robot is able to communicate with the outside world wirelessly and transmit data – such as the recorded sensor values for temperature and pressure – to a tablet.

The fins on the natural role models run from head to tail and are located either on the back, the stomach or on both sides of the body. The wave-shaped movement of the fins allows the fish to push the water behind them, thereby creating a forward thrust. Conversely the creatures can also swim backwards in this way and, depending on the wave pattern, create uplift, downforce or even lateral thrust.

Read more about the biomechanics of the BionicFinWave swimming robot at Festo.com. Festo is well-known for their incredible biomimetic robots, including kangaroos, butterflies and ants, these octopus, elephant, & human arm robot assistants, penguins, jellyfish, rays, and more.

Then explore more videos about biomimicry including how a kingfisher, an owl, & a penguin helped redesign Japan’s Shinkansen and Think Like a Tree – Problem solving with nature’s best ideas.

Finally, don’t miss this brightly colored flatworm filmed in Indonesia.

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