Hydraulic Autonomous Soft Robotic Fish for 3D Swimming

  • Robert K. Katzschmann
  • Andrew D. Marchese
  • Daniela Rus
Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 109)


This work presents an autonomous soft-bodied robotic fish that is hydraulically actuated and capable of sustained swimming in three dimensions. The design of a fish-like soft body has been extended to deform under hydraulic instead of pneumatic power. Moreover, a new closed-circuit drive system that uses water as a transmission fluid is used to actuate the soft body. Circulation of water through internal body channels provides control over the fish’s caudal fin propulsion and yaw motion. A new fabrication technique for the soft body is described, which allows for arbitrary internal fluidic channels, enabling a wide-range of continuous body deformations. Furthermore, dynamic diving capabilities are introduced through pectoral fins as dive planes. These innovations enable prolonged fish-like locomotion in three dimensions.


Soft robotics Robotic fish Hydraulic actuation Underwater locomotion Lost-wax silicone casting Soft actuator fabrication Fluidic elastomer actuator 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Katzschmann
    • 1
  • Andrew D. Marchese
    • 1
  • Daniela Rus
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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