manta ray robot proposes future of fast autonomous underwater vehicles

manta ray robot proposes future of fast autonomous underwater vehicles

researchers from the national university of singapore (NUS) have created a manta ray robot that swims faster and for longer than traditional autonomous underwater vehicles. dubbed the ‘mantadroid’, the aquatic robot moves at the speed of twice its body length per second – equating to 0.7 meters a second – and operating for up to 10 hours. it enhances the unique and distinctive swimming locomotive of the similarly named marine animals, which effortless glide through water by flapping its pectoral fins.

all images courtesy of the national university of singapore



unlike other flapping-based underwater robots that replicate manta ray’s flapping kinematics by using multiple motors to achieve active actuations throughout the fins, mantadroid is powered by only one electric motor on each fin. we then let the passive flexibility of the fins interact naturally with the fluid dynamics of the water to propel the subsequent motions,‘ explains associate professor chew chee meng. who, alongside associate professor yeo khoon seng, led a team of researchers at the department of mechanical engineering at NUS.

the NUS researchers with the nature inspired robot



measuring 35cm in length, 63cm in width and 0.7kg in weight, the manta ray robot’s fins are made from PVC sheets. these replacements to propeller-based thrusters are connected to a flat and wide body that can accommodate sensors for marine studies, hydrographic data and search operations. with its bolstered performance and capability features, the ‘mantadroid’ aims to showcase what the future could look like for future autonomous underwater vehicles.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    477,193 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    privacy policy