RoboTuna I (robot-tuna), David Barrett, and
RoboTuna II, David Beal and Michael Sachinis, MIT, the U.S.A.

RoboTuna The Robotuna project started in 1993 with the objective to develop a better system of propulsion for the autonomous underwater vehicles. The tuna was selected as model for its speed (a blue fin tuna can go up to 74 km/h) and its accelerations. It is a question of including/understanding how a fish can generate energy enough to reach such speeds. RoboTuna evolves/moves in the aquarium of MIT, suspended by a mast, itself fixed at a system which slides along the tank (see the white mast on the photograph). The mast is also used for to pass the cables which connect the robot to the controllers. Thus, the controllers receive information from the sensors in entry and return instructions to robot-tuna. This one includes/understands 8 vertebrae and a system of cables which is used of tendons and muscles. The envelope is made up of a fine and flexible layer of foam covered with Lycra to approach the flexibility and smoothness the tuna skin.
RoboTuna and RoboTuna II :

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  RoboPike, John Kumph, MIT, the U.S.A.
Robopike After RoboTuna, another robotic fish is designed at MIT: RoboPike, the robot pike (the pike interests the researchers for its fulgurating accelerations). RoboPike is not maintained in the aquarium by a system of pulley like its predecessor and can swim freely. But it is not autonomous: its navigation is directed by human and it is the computer which interprets the orders and returns the signals appropriate to each engine. At the time, John Kump studies the movements of fish thoroughly to be able to reproduce them. He also works on the form and the flexibility to be given to his robot. Thus, it equips it with a exosquelette in the shape of spring with spiral.
RoboPike (81 cm length) can swim rather well but it is not equipped yet with sensors to prevent it from running up against the obstacles (as it will be then the case of Essex Robotic Fish).

RoboPike :

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  PPF-04, Koichi Hirata, NMRI, Japan
PPF-04 NMRI-Anguillenages NMRIThe NMRI (National Maritime Research Institute) developed many projects of robotic fish (series PF and series PPF) with a view to apply, in the future, the capacities of fish to our boats and submarines. The PPF-04 is one (all) small robotic fish of 19 cm and 400 g, remote controlled. Its size makes it possible to test it in a small tank (like a bath-tub). The study carried, inter alia, on the relation between the speed and the amplitude of the oscillations of the caudal fin.

Robotic fish homepage of NMRI :
Do not hesitate to visit the most possible pages: they contain photographs, diagrams, videos.
Page of PPF-04.

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  Cœlacanth, Yuuzi Terada, Mitsubishi, Japan
Coelacanth-Mitsubishi On its part, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries carried out coelacanth (large very primitive fish that one believed disappeared) robotized of 70 cm length and weighing 12 kg. This model is the first of a series called "Mitsubishi Animatronics". Animatronics (of the words animation and electronics) indicates the techniques which make it possible, with the cinema, to give life to artificial creatures. Intended to be distributed in the aquariums and the parks, the coelacanth was first presented at the museum of sciences Aquatom of Fuki in Japan in June 2001. Coelacanth is located between the automat and the robot. It is entirely controlled by computer, via a communication without wire, and when a visitor wants to see it swimming, it must press on a button. This project, which particularly looks after the aspect of its "fish", gives the opportunity to see an alive fossil.
In fact, it is a subsidiary company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the company Ryomei Engineering, which carried out Coelacanth as well as a sea-bream, a gilded carp, a carp koï.

Mitsubishi homepage :

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  Robotic fish SPC-03, BUAA - CASIA, China
Poisson-robot chinois SPC The SPC-03 measures 1,23 meter length and resembles as much a fish by its form that by its movements. It is stable, very handy, and is controlled remotely by technicians. It can work 2 to 3 hours in immersion, at the maximum speed of 4 km/h. This robotic fish is intended for underwater archaeological exploration but the two persons in charge for the project, Wang Tianmiao (BUAA) and Tan Min (CASE), consider many other uses such as underwater photography, the cartography of the underwater funds, the transport of small objects...
Result of several years of research, the robot was tested in August 2004 on the site of a marooned warship. The Chinese archaeologists are interested in this warship because it sank near the island of Dongshan (province of Fujian, China) approximately 340 years ago. This ship belonged to the general Zheng Chenggong who took again the island of Taiwan to the Dutchmen in 1662 (Dongshan and Taiwan are to only 277 km one of the other, on each side of the strait of Taiwan). Arms and valuable articles (porcelain) having already been found on this site, the Chinese authorities decided to continue research in order to locate other vestiges. Thus, the robotic fish explored a surface of more than 4000 m2 over 6 hours of immersion. It took many photographs and transmitted to the surface.

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  Robotic Eel, Robea Project, multi-field team, CNRS, France
Projet Robea-AnguilleProjet Robea-AnguilleThe objective of the ROBEA-Eel project is to "design, study and produce a robotic eel able to swim in three dimensions". Whereas certain fish as tuna have a mode of locomotion based on oscillations of the body, the locomotion anguilliforme (eel, lamprey...) is based on undulations of the body. Thus, the swimming of eel presents remarkable performances in term of maneuverability. It is the high number of internal degrees of freedom of this fish which enables him to thread in the most difficult places of access. The prototype of project ROBEA consists of a stacking of platforms of the kneecap type, imitating the vertebrae of eel. This national project gathers several laboratories of which the LAG, Laboratoire of automatic of Grenoble, which is for example charged to set up the systems of control of the movements of the eel (orientation, speed) as well as stabilization in rolling of the robot.

IRCCYN laboratory:

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  Boxybot (from boxfish), Daisy Lachat, BIRG – EPFL, Suiss
Boxybot - BIRG EPFLDeveloped with the BIRG (Biologically Inspired Robotics Group), the Boxybot project aims at the realization of an autonomous robot able to evolve/move in water. Research related in particular to the study and the realization of the various forms and uses of the fins in fish of the labriform type and ostraciiform: these fish have a rigid body and a low speed but a great maneuverability thanks to their fins. In fish of the labriform type, the pectoral fins are used for the propulsion and the caudal fin is used as rudder. Boxybot is 25 cm long and can swim up to 0,37 m/s. It can plunge, swim ahead, behind, on the side and carry out gimlets. The speed depends on the amplitude and the frequency of the oscillations on the fins (with thresholds not to be exceeded), and also size and rigidity of those.

See project and videos.

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  Essex Robotic Fish, Jindong Liu, Huosheng Hu,
Dept of Computer Science University of Essex, G.B.

Robot G8 Fish EssexThe goal of the researchers of the university of Essex was to carry out a robot-fish which can swim like a real fish and which is autonomous. A fish has various modes of displacement (speed, turns, accelerations, braking) and the challenge of the researchers of Essex was to obtain an autonomous robot-fish who can reproduce all these behaviors and not one or two in a more or less uniform way. They thus indexed the various behaviors in a library used by the computer to generate varied and unexpected trajectories of stroke. Robotic Fish (50 cm length) is for example able to curve its body according to a great angle in a very reduced time (approximately 90°/0.20sec). Several models were designed, since G1 in 2003 until G8 and G9 in 2005. The researchers continue to work on the improvement of the algorithms of training which make it possible the robot to generate adaptive behaviors in a changing environment and thus unpredictable.

To learn more:
Videos :
Video shot at the Aquarium.

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  Robotic koi (carp koï), Ryomei Engineering, Japan
Carpe koiA robot-fish inspired of the carp koï was presented in March 2006 in Japan. It was developed by three companies of which Ryomei Engineering, a subsidiary company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which is already at the origin of the series "Mitsubishi Animatronics" (see Coelacanth). The carp koï was selected because it is symbol of force and chance in Japan. The robot, which measures 80 cm and weighs 12 kg, is remote controlled. Its mouth is equipped with sensors being used to control the oxygen concentration in water, information essential if one wants to supervise the health of fish.
In a second step, the researchers want to make their robot autonomous. Thanks to its camera, the robot could be sent in recognition to examine the resources present in the depths. It could be also used to inspect the oil platforms to locate and supervise possible damage.

Video of the robot:
another video :
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  Remote Controlled Robotic Shark
Robotic SharkIn the category "Toys and Games", a store of New York sells (on line also) a remote-controlled shark for a hundred dollars. It is said that this robot swims in an elegant and gracious way like its model. It can plunge to 2,7 m of depth, and operates by a remote control which functions up to 12 m of distance, is also waterproof, which makes it possible to swim with him. This robot-toy measures approximately 61 cm and two models are available (blue or red) and function over different frequencies to be able to use them at the same time.


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  Manta Ray, EvoLogics, Germany
Robotic Manta Ray Evologics is a spin-off of the Technical University Berlin with Festo partnership. Due to the use of "Festo Fluidic Muscles" actuators, wings shape can adapt gradually to water movements around the body. 3 propulsion modes are used. First use wings movement for quiet, fast and efficient moving with high manoeuvrability. Second use buoyancy variation with volume adjustment to sailplane up and down. Third use hydrojet propulsion for add-on speed requirements or stable trajectory needed by sensors.
This technology will be useful for deep sea exploration, offshore industry, sensible ecological research, environmental monitoring and marine security.

Video of the Robotic Ray :

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  Robofish, University of Washington, U.S.A.
Robofish The "Robofish" of the University of Washington measures a half meter long and weighs 3kg. It is highly manoeuvrable and can swim backwards by inverting pectoral fins.
Since radio signals travel badly in salt water, Kristi Morgansen and colleagues studied a system that allow robots to communicate each others. Thus, robots can swim in the same direction or spread out to cover larger surface.
During the experiment, 3 Robofish broadcasted their headings to each other, and used any information received to adjust their own courses.
According to Kristi Morgansen, the group remained coordinated despite about half of all information packets being lost - showing that the system is relatively robust.
With the same technique, it will be possible to explore large areas, track a pollution spill, or to report the location of marine animals.

The official page with videos :
Video of the "school of" 3 Robofish :

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  Stingray, Knifefish and overs, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Robotic Stingray
Researchers of the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Nanyang Technological University study fish propulsion. Their objective is to design and optimize robotic fish using undulating fin mechanisms. Thus, for experiments they designed different types of robotic fish like a Stingray Robot, a Knifefish Robot, an Arowana Robot and more...
In this document gently sent to us by Yu Zhong, you can find more information about the design of undulating fins and their efficiency.

Video of the NAF-I Robotic Fish :
Video of the Stingray Robot NCF-I:
Video of the Knifefish Robot NKF-II:

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  Tai-robot-kun, University of Kitakyushu, Japan
Robotic Red SnapperEngineers at the University of Kitakyushu have developed one of the most realistic biomimetic robot in the world.
This red snapper is actually a robotic fish known as “Tai-robot-kun”.
Tai-robot-kun weighs 7kg and mimics a real fish swimming silently in the water, and can go for as long as an hour with a full battery.
It has a silicone body covered in realistically hand-painted scales, features a unique propulsion system that allows it to move its tail and drift silently through the water like a real fish (source: OTAKU).

Video of Tai-robot-kun :

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  MIRO, AIRO inc, Korea
Firo MIRO(Marine Intelligence Robot) is a bio-mimetic robot fish designed for museums, ornamental applications and gaming. It uses special waterproof articulations so that it can dive up to 10 meters in water. It embeds a red LED in the nose and two white LEDs as eyes for fun effects. MIRO usually swims in autonomous mode but can be used in remote mode with either a special tactile control panel or a mobile application(Android OS only). This functionality is useful for public interaction, in for example, gaming controlling MIROs. MIRO’s ancestor version was called FIRO, first exhibited on Marine Robot Pavilion at Yeosu 2012 World Expo. MIRO now has two different sizes, 53cm(MIRO-9) and 35cm(MIRO-7).

For more information, visit AIRO(MIRO manufacturer, Artificial Intelligence Robot) :
AIRO Youtube Channel :
AIRO Facebook :

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  Jessiko, ROBOTSWIM, France
Jessiko Jessiko is one of the smallest robot fish in the world (22cm/150g). Thanks to its communication potential uses and its artificial intelligence, Jessiko can swim in a school of 10 fish or more to create entertaining aquatic choreography and light effects. Christophe Tiraby, the inventor of the robotic fish and founder of Robotswim, won the "Grand Prix de l'Innovation de la Ville de Paris" (Great Prize for Innovation of Paris City) in the Industrial Decorative Design category for the Jessiko robot fish project.
The series model was first exhibited on France Pavilion at Yeosu 2012 World Expo.
It is currently marketed at events and for prestige decoration (luxury hotels, commercial centers, museums, waiting rooms, clubs...).

For more information, visit Robotswim website :
Most amazing videos of Jessiko :
Jessiko Facebook page:

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  Retour haut, first site dedicated to robotic fish.