AquaPenguins - technology-bearers as autonomous underwater vehicles
Like its natural archetype, the AquaPenguin from Festo has a hydrodynamic body contour. Its elegant wing propulsion and its head and tail sections, which can be moved in all directions, allow the robotic penguins to manoeuvre in cramped spatial conditions, to turn on the spot when necessary and – unlike their biological counterparts – even to swim backwards.
The bionic Penguins are designed as autonomous underwater vehicles that independently orient themselves and navigate through the water basin. They are supported by a 3D sonar system which, as with dolphins, allows communication with their surroundings and with other robotic penguins – for example to avoid collisions.
An entirely new feature in robotics is the torso that can move in any direction. The bionic Fin Ray® structure, derived from the tail fin of a fish, has thus been extended into three-dimensional space for the first time. The pengins' torso design can be used in automation in a flexible tripod configuration, thereby opening up new fields of application in mechanical handling technology.