This month scientists published rare footage of one of the Arctic’s most elusive sharks. The findings demonstrate that, even with many technological advances in recent years, it remains a challenging task to document marine life up close.
But MIT computer scientists believe they have a possible solution: using robots.
During test dives in the Rainbow Reef in Fiji, SoFi swam at depths of more than 50 feet for up to 40 minutes at once, nimbly handling currents and taking high-resolution photos and videos using (what else?) a fisheye lens.
Using its undulating tail and a unique ability to control its own buoyancy, SoFi can swim in a straight line, turn, or dive up or down. The team also used a waterproofed Super Nintendo controller and developed a custom acoustic communications system that enabled them to change SoFi’s speed and have it make specific moves and turns.
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