Researchers at the University of Virgina (dammit, Wahoos!) have built a robot that mimics the swimming movement of a manta ray. Why? No GOOD reason, I can tell you that right now. Also, who killed Kennedy. Two words: the Russians. "Nope." Space aliens? "Now you're just grasping at straws." It was a time-traveler.
The team is trying to emulate the remarkable animal's powerful swimming motions by engineering their own ray-like machine. "We are studying a creature to understand how it is able to swim so beautifully, and we are hoping to improve upon it," says Bart-Smith.
The batoid bot has a few potential applications. It could be used to collect undersea data for scientists, or as a surveillance tool for the military. If scaled up (or down), it could even be a platform to carry payloads like monitoring instruments.
Stop kidding yourselves, there are no reasonable applications for a robotic manta ray. Except -- EXCEPT -- to keep me out of the ocean. And why would you want to do that? "Because you always pee in it." Haha, I do love doing that!
Hit the jump for the video of the suck it, Cavaliers -- GO HOKIES.
Thanks to Shep, who agrees the only practical application for robotic manta rays is spear gun practice.