Researchers at the University of California San Diego have created a squid-like robot that propels itself by producing jets of water, mimicking how squid swim.

The so-called Squidbot is an untethered robot that mimics the in-built jet propulsion mechanism of the squid, which enables it to be capable of rapid locomotion. To achieve this, the robot takes on water as it stores elastic energy in its skin and in the flexible ribs that behave like springs. As the robot compresses its body, the energy is released, propelling the Squidbot forward.

In the lab, researchers determined that the Squidbot can swim half a mile per hour carrying an onboard power source, sensor and camera.

Publishing details about the Squidbot in the journal Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, the robot was developed for underwater exploration and to protect fish and coral.

To see the Squidbots in motion, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of the University of California San Diego.

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