Robot fish are typically pale imitations at best — even when they move quickly, they don’t move all that gracefully. MIT’s new soft robotic fish should be much closer to the real animal, however. Instead of relying on rigid joints and motors to swim, the new fish wiggles its tail fin by inflating a channel with carbon dioxide. The switch to pressure-based power results in not just more natural-looking movement, but the kind of explosive energy that you’d expect from an undersea critter; a strong CO2 blast will turn the robot 100 degrees in an instant. The current design is built more for speed than longevity, but MIT’s researchers foresee a longer-lasting model that could follow schools of real fish and study them without drawing attention.
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Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.