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Slideshow: Nautical Robots Go With the Flow

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Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Nautical robots of all shapes and sizes.
Ann R. Thryft   5/2/2013 11:39:20 AM
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William, the material is described as "fortified" Styrofoam, so I doubt it resembles much the stuff used in shipping containers.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/2/2013 9:39:35 PM
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Nice link, Ann. That robot looks almost exactly like a fish. I guess if nature has already done the engineering, why create something new that likely won't be as effective.

William K.
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/3/2013 8:24:35 PM
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  • Rob, shape matters a whole lot in the water and under it, much more than it matters in air. Not only that the greater density takes a lot more power to move it out of the way, but also that the friction of moving through water is greater. One large difference though is that water is generally not compressible,at least not like air.


Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:51:04 PM
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Thanks Rob, I agree about the design "energy savings" made possible by biomimicry.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/6/2013 1:51:44 PM
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William is right about shape mattering even more in water than it does in air as far as a fish--or a robot's--speed, maneuverability, and efficiency and therefore power consumption. Just think how much harder it is to swim through water than to walk through air, and the muscles swimming gives your arms as a result.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 6:37:00 PM
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That makes sense, William K. It looks like many of our existing water-based vehicles are rather bukly -- such as subs. But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe they're suited for moving through water.

William K.
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/6/2013 10:00:44 PM
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Rob, sometimes efficiency and streamlining are not the only consideration. Watch some of those fish at the aquarium, some very big fish disappear when they are viewed from the front or the rear. And you don't see very many fish with missile launching abilities.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Rob Spiegel   5/6/2013 10:26:05 PM
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Good point, William K. That's funny. I would imagine missile-launching capability trumps all with our sub fleet.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
Ann R. Thryft   5/28/2013 11:36:32 AM
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That is funny, William--thanks for the laugh.

William K.
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Re: Variety of water worthy robots
William K.   5/28/2013 7:31:16 PM
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Ann, watch some of those fish in the big aquarium at your local zoo. There are a few of them that are huge when viewed from the side, and they really do become hard to see when they turn and swim away. My guess is that it is that way to confuse predators.

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