This is not an underwater robot you’ve seen before. The Festo BionicFinWave is modeled after the cuttlefish, which uses its fins to generate continuous waves for motion.This mechanical cephalopod uses two flexible side fins, cast from silicone, to do the same thing.
The fins are fastened to nine lever arms, which are driven by two servomotors. The two fins can move independently and generate a variety of wave patterns. This enables the BionicFinWave to ‘swim’ in multiple directions, with a precision of movement that causes little turbulence.
This isn’t the first Festo nature-inspired robot. The company has created bat, spider, and dragonfly robots, as well as one disturbing octopus-like robot tentacle arm. It’s not confirmed yet what life the BionicFinWave will have after its reveal. But its skills might make the BionicFinWave an asset for underwater inspection and exploration.