This is a video demonstration of SoFi, a soft robotic fish developed by scientists at MIT that can swim untethered by undulating its tail and adjusting it's own buoyancy for up to 40 minutes, at depths deeper than 50 feet. No word if it's detected any mermaid activity yet, but a boy can dream.
The team also used a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller and developed a custom acoustic communications system that enabled them to change SoFi's speed and have it make specific moves and turns.
"To our knowledge, this is the first robotic fish that can swim untethered in three dimensions for extended periods of time," says CSAIL PhD candidate Robert Katzschmann, lead author of the new journal article published today in Science Robotics. "We are excited about the possibility of being able to use a system like this to get closer to marine life than humans can get on their own."
Ahahahhaha, it's controlled by a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller -- that's great (although it's technically an aftermarket SNES Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad in a silicone case -- you can see it in the video). It's certainly not the fastest swimmer, but I suppose sharks need to eat too. *waving new cell phone* Give me a call when it discovers Atlantis. "That's a Speak & Spell." I was wondering why my mom hasn't called lately.
Keep going for a video of the robofish in action.
Thanks again to K Diddie, who informed me I remind him of the ocean. Awww, because I'm so vast and beatiful? "Because you're full of garbage." Okaaaaaay.