We are familiar with the swimming robots inspired by the Jellyfish. Now,scientists at AeroVironmenthave come up with a solar-powered robot inspired by the ocean sunfish or Mola.
The Mola is one of the most naturally engineered creations of the nature. It has a habit of coming up the surface and basking in the sun. While the reasons are not certain, it is assumed that their surface floating is just a way to invite the birds to peck and clean their skin or may be because the sunlight helps them digest their food.
Mola robot has no batteries attached toit. The robot is powered with a flat solar panel and has large mechanical fins that help it propel in the water. It not only swims in the surface but also delves deep gathering solar energy.
The flexible tail of the solar panels can be extended when more power is needed. The robot features onboard physical, chemical and biological sensors and a data recording device that would allow it to carry out scientific surveys and ocean monitoring missions.With solar energy, it can receive data from anywhere and any far out to the sea.
The Molar robot gathers enough power from the sunlight to power its sensors and swim at a constant speed of 4 KPH.