Aquatic Robotics

Lateral Line Sensors for Underwater Robots

Posted 22 Feb 2007 at 20:53 UTC by steve Share This

Roland Piquepaille writes, "Today, both submarine and surface ships use sonar for navigation. But sonar and other vision systems face various limitations. So why not imitate fish? For millions of years, fish have relied on 'a row of specialized sensory organs along the sides of their bodies, called the lateral line' to avoid predators or find prey. So engineers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have decided to build an artificial lateral line for submarines and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). The first tests have been successful, and we can now envision a day where AUVs could detect and track moving underwater targets or avoid collisions with moving or stationary objects." For more details on the story, see Roland's blog. If you're interested in technical details of the sensors itself, check out the related research paper, Distant touch hydrodynamic imaging with an artificial lateral line (PDF format).

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