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Robotic Tuna Inspects Oil Tankers (& Sea Chests?)
9/26/2012

The BIOSwimmer is shown in the water during testing. The line is a camera tether.   (Source: Boston Engineering Corporation's Advanced Systems Group)
The BIOSwimmer is shown in the water during testing. The line is a camera tether.
(Source: Boston Engineering Corporation's Advanced Systems Group)

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Beth Stackpole
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Swims like a tuna, looks like a tuna
Beth Stackpole   9/26/2012 7:25:10 AM
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Wow, of all the animal-like robots you've reported on, Ann, this  one really takes a page from its animal muse. I could see these robot tunas combing through rough waters and countless fisherman after them for the daily catch. Amazing, in terms of design, any way.

naperlou
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Do they school
naperlou   9/26/2012 10:39:02 AM
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Ann, this is really amazing, and one of the more appropriate bio inspired designs you have reported on.  I was just wondering, though, if you put a bunch of them together, would they form schools?  That would be a great sight.  It might also help catch people fishing illegally. 

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Swims like a tuna, looks like a tuna
Ann R. Thryft   9/26/2012 12:32:11 PM
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Thanks, Beth. I just wish we had a video of this one, so we could see how close its movements are to the original.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Do they school
Ann R. Thryft   9/26/2012 12:34:14 PM
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Lou, schooling in fish is basically swarming behavior--the term swarming is taken from insects, but the collective movements and communication are the same idea in robotics, whether the model is a flock of birds, a swarm of insects or a school of fish. These robotic tuna were designed to operate individually, not in groups via swarming behavior. But that would be an interesting option.

NadineJ
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prevention vs repair
NadineJ   9/26/2012 2:19:45 PM
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It would be fantastic if this is used to detect small leaks (that often lead to bigger problems) in oil tankers, rigs, etc.  They could be repaired before there's a problem.  Being ablt to navigate through oily water, after a spill, is useful too.

We'll need the earthworm equivalent very soon to help with the new oil pipelines.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: prevention vs repair
Ann R. Thryft   9/26/2012 2:59:14 PM
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Nadine, I like your earthworm equivalent idea. There are robotic snakes/worms used in medicine for detecting various substances. I wonder if those, or similar technology, could be ruggedized and adapted for pipelines?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: prevention vs repair
Beth Stackpole   9/27/2012 7:12:29 AM
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Pipelines and maybe even tight spots in mines. Definitely would have been helpful in disasters like the Chile mining incident a couple of years back.

mrdon
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Re: Swims like a tuna, looks like a tuna
mrdon   9/27/2012 11:29:11 AM
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Beth

You bring up a very good point in regards to fishermen capturing tuna. I wonder if the design team thought about the fishing scenario and has provided a mechanism to protect there robot from fisherman. As always, Ann, a very good article on robotic applications. Keep them coming!!

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Swims like a tuna, looks like a tuna
Ann R. Thryft   9/27/2012 12:03:18 PM
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That's an interesting point about fishermen and this robot tuna. Unless they're fishing near downed oil tankers, it may not be a problem. (And if they are, I hope I don't eat their tuna!)

mrdon
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Re: Swims like a tuna, looks like a tuna
mrdon   9/27/2012 2:56:19 PM
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Ann, I see your point. Yeah eating the tuna would be too much iron in one's diet. LOL

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