Scientists Design Swimming Fish Robot That Can Detect Microplastics In The Ocean

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We might soon have robotic fish cleaning our oceans. The fish bot that has been created by scientists is one that is light-operating. This fish robot has the ability to fast move around, scavenging for and removing any plastic particles that may be present in their natural habitat.

It has been shown to be challenging to eradicate microplastics from aquatic environments because of the propensity of these particles to get lodged in cracks and crannies. Robotic technology that is flexible, small, and self-propelled has been proposed as a method for removing these toxins and bringing the area back to safety. Hydrogels and elastomers, which are the traditional materials used for soft robotics, are susceptible to rapid degradation when exposed to water.

A tough yet pliable material known as mother-of-pearl, also known as nacre, may be seen running down the inside of clam shells. Through testing with a gradient design, the researchers sought to create a fabric that is both flexible and strong for use in soft actuators.

How does it function?

The researchers used a manufacturing strategy that included adding one layer on top of the previous one in order to set up an orderly density gradient of the nanostructured materials all the way through the material. A little fish robot measuring 15 millimeters in length was built by the scientists out of this substance. The flapping motion of the fish’s back was achieved by rapidly activating and deactivating a laser that discharges light in the near-infrared spectrum. This motion was what propelled the robot further in its journey. The bot was able to move at a speed that was before unrecorded for other soft aquatic devices and at a rate that was close to that of active phytoplankton. It was able to move at 2.67 body lengths per second.

The research suggests that a swimming fish robot may continuously absorb and relocate the polystyrene plastic particles that are present in its surroundings to a new position. Because it had the ability to self-repair, the material retained its capacity to take up microplastics after having been cut. The experts believe that owing to the fish robot’s high degree of endurance and speed, it might be employed for the detection of microplastics as well as other pollutants in adverse aquatic environments.

Tiesha loves to share her passion for everything that’s beautiful in this world. Apart from writing on her beauty blog and running her own beauty channel on Youtube, she also enjoys traveling and photography. Tiesha covers various stories on the website.