What is the most efficient way to row a boat? Should all the oars pull simultaneously or out-of-phase? French researchers in Paris’s Laboratory of Hydrodynamics (LadHyX) explored this question by actually building arduino based robotic rowers.
At this point, everyone who has been part of a rowing team can breathe a sigh of relief, because even though the speed variations were reduced when the row bots were rowing asynchronously (thus reducing losses to fluid friction), the overall speed of the boat was reduced as well, and this proved to be the case for all asynchronous tests at any phase. Rowing together, in sync, really is the fastest and most efficient way of rowing.