National Science Foundation
Engineers are 'Schooling' Themselves on Fish Maneuvers
Caption: With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), aerospace engineer Michael Philen and his team at Virginia Tech are investigating the biomechanics of fish locomotion, in hopes of contributing to the next generation of robotic fish and underwater submersibles.
The researchers are studying how fish use their muscles to swim efficiently and execute underwater maneuvers, such as darting around in perfectly synchronized schools.
Philen and his team also are developing new smart materials, such as a bioengineered hair that is modeled after the hair cell sensors on the side of fish that allow it to detect minute changes in water flow.
The research in this episode was funded by NSF award #0938043, EFRI-BSBA: Multifunctional materials exhibiting distributed actuation, sensing, and control: Uncovering the hierarchical control of fish for developing smarter materials.
Credit: Ann Kellan, Science Nation Producer
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