Animal robots instantly attract the attention of viewers, but when they move underwater, they simply look mesmerizing. Adding to the list of swimming robots, the ETH Zurich research group drawing inspiration from the sea turtle has developed an autonomous robot that can swim at an estimated top speed of two meters (6.6 feet) per second. Dubbed “Naro –Tartaruga,” the robotic turtle integrates two front flippers, each directed by three actuators, so it could be maneuvered in three dimensions underwater.
Featuring the body finished in aluminum, the robotic sea turtle includes different sensors, such as pressure, temperature, water leakage and water flow, and electronics, like gyros, surface GPS, compass and motor encoders, in its hull. Powered by a 48-volt lithium-polymer battery pack, the Naro –Tartaruga also incorporates a BlueFox computer vision system and an i7 dual core processor. Weighing about 75 kilograms (165 lbs), the 3.3 feet long robot contains head and tail interfaces to switch different modules according to the potential use.