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MantaDroid - an underwater drone inspired by nature - video

A research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore has constructed an underwater drone whose design and movement were inspired by manta rays. The graceful animals move effortlessly through the sea, regardless of the conditions at sea. It was this aspect that prompted the researchers to base their design
Published: December 7, 2017 - 16:14
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 16:05
MantaDroid – an underwater drone inspired by nature – video

A research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore has constructed an underwater drone whose design and movement were inspired by manta rays. The graceful animals move effortlessly through the sea, regardless of the conditions at sea. It was this aspect that prompted the researchers to base their design on a method proven to work in nature.

This is how, after two years of work, the robot presented under the name MantaDroid was created. During this time, scientists from a university in Singapore tested, among other things, forty different models of fins before they managed to select the best ones, which ended up in the final version of the drone.

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Robotic-Manta-Ray

[blockquote style=”2″]”Mantas are known as extremely efficient swimmers, traversing the oceans freely and effortlessly, regardless of currents or prevailing weather. This inspired us to develop an alternative way of moving for underwater vehicles, whether drones or traditional AUV robots. We anticipate that AUV robots using our system will have a longer operating time and be able to explore a larger area.” – said Prof Chew Chee-Meng, who leads the project at NUS.[/blockquote]

nus-manta-ray-robot-design_dezeen_2364_col_3-1704x1031

The MantaDroid measures 35 cm long and 63 cm wide. Interestingly, the unit weighs just 700 grams. The whole thing is powered by two electric motors, dedicated one for each fin. The design of the structure allows the use of water dynamics, which translates into a drone speed of 0.7m/s. The operating time is also impressive at 10 hours!

The MantaDrone, created by a research team at the National University of Singapore, is a very interesting alternative to the current directions taken by underwater drone contructors. This is because the innovative approach to propulsion and movement provides a much greater range of operation.

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The design of the device itself and the fact that, unlike other designs, it is flat is another advantage. Professor Chew Chee-Meng argues that this makes it possible to place more sensors of various kinds on the ‘belly’.

nus-manta-ray-robot-design_dezeen_2364_col_2-1704x958

A further series of tests are to be carried out in the near future. The device will be tested in sea conditions at various depths. The results of these tests are expected to help in the further development of the propulsion system, as well as the best possible use of the design itself.

Source: www.nus.edu.sg

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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