A brand new drone for ultra-fast transitions between air and water

From Beihang University, Imperial College of London and EMPA, a new aero-aquatic robot capable of ... tearing passages

Air-to-water drone: a new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second
A new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second thanks to an innovative propeller design by Beihang University, Imperial College London and EMPA under the direction of Lei Li (Photo: EMPA)

Un robot of very recent construction, it is able to switch from an underwater drone to an aerial vehicle in less than a second.
Il air-to-water drone in question is also equipped with a suction disc inspired by the Remora fish, which allows it to… “hitchhike” on wet or dry moving objects, “hitching a ride” on others, so to speak, and significantly reducing its energy consumption is significant.
It was designed for biological and environmental monitoring in the marine ecosystems, such as the detection of ocean pollution in the open sea, as pointed out by the scientists of the Beihang University, Imperial College London and EMPA in a new study published in the specialized journal “Science Robotics”.

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Air-to-water drone: a new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second
A new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second thanks to an innovative propeller design by Beihang University, Imperial College London and EMPA under the direction of Lei Li

Air-to-Water Drone: Decisive propeller design for instantaneous gas-liquid switching

The ultra-fast passage from underwater drone to aerial vehicle in less than a second it is based on a new propeller design, which makes the transition between different vehicles faster than most previous aero-aquatic robots.
Designed by a team of scientists from China, including Professor Lei Li, the UK and Switzerland, the versatile robot and its bio-inspired sticky disc could be adapted for airborne and aquatic surveillance research in open environments.
It's common knowledge that an untethered air-to-water drone can aid research expeditions and wildlife surveys in large or remote environments such as the open ocean, but some limitations remain.
For example, untethered drones aren't the best choice for longer missions because they don't have external power sources to fall back on in the event of a battery failure.
To overcome this limitation, scientists 3D printed a aero-aquatic robotsor “unrestricted” which reduces energy consumption thanks to the practice of “…hitchhiking”.

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Air-to-water drone: a new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second
A new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second thanks to an innovative propeller design by Beihang University, Imperial College London and EMPA under the direction of Lei Li

Twenty percent less energy traveling with the help of whales and turtles

Il robot features a suction cup inspired by Remora fish, an animal species known for sticky discs that help the specimens to climb on other marine creatures of suitable proportions, such as sharks, whales, manta rays, sea turtles and so on.
The disc of robot remote-controlled made by the Sino-Anglo-Swiss team of scientists can adhere to wet and dry surfaces with different textures, even on moving objects.
In tests, the robot it latched onto a swimming host vehicle to obtain seabed images of hermit crabs, scallops and seaweed.
“Our study demonstrates how it is possible to take inspiration from the Remora adhesion mechanism and combine it with aerial robotics systems to obtain new methods of mobility for robotics”, he claims Mirko kovac, who directs both the Robotics Materials and Technology Center of theEMPA both the Aero Robotics Laboratory of theImperial College London.
During the process, the hitchhiker robot it used nearly 20 times less energy than it would have using self-propulsion.
Thanks to the outdoor experiments, the team was able to demonstrate that the robot it is capable of “hitchhiking”, recording video during air-water transitions and performing traverse recovery operations in both freshwater and saltwater.

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Air-water drone: Remoras have a sort of sucker on their back thanks to which they attach themselves to the belly of other large animals
The Echeneidae is a family of eight species of saltwater fish, known as Remore, whose peculiarity is that they have a sort of sucker on their back thanks to which they attach themselves to the belly of other large marine animals such as whales or turtles

The sucker organ of the eight species of Echeneidae has tremendous strength

The Echeneidae is in fact a family of eight species of saltwater fish known as Remore, whose peculiarity is that of having a sort of sucker on the back thanks to which they attach themselves to the belly of other large marine animals.
Adult specimens can measure up to one meter in length and weigh up to 2,5 kg.
The organ-sucker begins to function around the six months of life and has a disproportionate strength compared to the size of the adult, so much so that it can support a much higher weight than that of the fish without detaching or moving.
The evolutionary purpose of this organ is not yet clear, also because, despite the habit of "bugging passages", the Remora fish is not a parasite and does not live on the leftovers of its host's meals, on the contrary, it is an active hunter.
The behavior of the Remora fish was already known in ancient times. The family name, Echeneidae, recalls the related myth: in Greek “echein” means “to hold back”, and “naos” stands for “ship”.

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The functioning of the sucker-organ of two Remore "hooked" to a Manta

Air-to-water drone: a new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second
A new aero-aquatic robot has reduced the motion transient between gas and liquid to one second thanks to an innovative propeller design by Beihang University, Imperial College London and EMPA under the direction of Lei Li