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Researchers Reveal New Robot: A Fish Called WANDA
University of Wollongong (Australia) (05/28/09) McIlwain, Kate

Scientists at Australia's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, the National Centre for Sensor Research at Dublin City University, and the Defense Science and Technology Organisation Maritime Platforms Division have developed the Wireless Aquatic Navigator for Detection and Analysis (WANDA), a robotic fish that contains a camera and can seek out and swim toward a particular object of interest. The researchers say WANDA's real innovation is an active flexible joint tail fin that is activated through conducting polymer artificial muscles. Researcher Scott McGovern says the major advantage of the polymer materials is the ease with which it mimics the tail fin motion of a real fish. WANDA is more mobile and flexible than previous sensing systems, and its fish-like movements create better maneuverability than conventional propeller-driven devices. Conducting polymers also are more robust than the traditional materials used in similar devices....

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