Professor Hilary Bart-Smith and her colleagues from three other universities are trying to emulate the seemingly effortless but powerful swimming motions of rays, by engineering their own ray-like robot modeled on nature.
Images credit: University of Virginia
Stingrays and manta rays, are among the most elegant swimmers. They are fast, energy-efficient, highly maneuverable, can cruise for long distances in the deep, open ocean, and rest on the sea bottom.
“They are wonderful examples of optimal engineering by nature,” said Hilary Bart-Smith, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the University of Virginia’s School of Engineering and Applied Science.
In this video she describes her work on the “Mantabot” project, and the future implications of bio-mechanical engineering.