Scientists have tried to give the robots a more animal look.
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell University created aroboryba, which is driven by an artificial blood system. The fluid simultaneously performs two functions: it “feeds” the robot and allows it to move.
As noted on Gizmodo, usually each part of the robots performs only one function and in this sense they are far behind animals. For example, fish gills are simultaneously responsible for underwater gas exchange, maintain fluid pressure in the body, regulate acid-base balance, and remove waste.
With the help of roboryry, scientists tried to make robots more independent. “Blood” in the apparatus is an electrolyte solution that produces energy to power the robot and acts as a hydraulic fluid. According to the authors, this is the first experiment in which the hydraulic system, movements and energy storage were combined into one multifunctional system.
We realized that the working time of most robots is very short, because they need recharging – about tens of minutes. But people can work without food for days. We wanted to solve the problem by finding a way to store energy in all components of the robot. This work is our first demonstration of the storage of energy in a fluid, which is usually used only to power [the robot] into action.
James Pikul study coauthor
During the tests, the robooryba was able to swim even against the current and was able to hold out in motion for 36 hours. Scientists say that compared with the “classic design” robot, this result is eight times longer.
According to the co-author of the study, James Pikul, the “circulatory system” robooryba is very similar to the animal. He explained that it also consists of a fluid that stores chemical elements that are pumped through the body.
Now researchers intend to use synthetic blood to improve the power of robots and machines with liquids. For example, electric cars, airplanes and other “soft robots”.