Editorial Feature

Amphibious Robots – An Overview

As the need for robotic systems grows, so does the need for advancements and new emerging technologies. One such emerging technology is amphibious robots, which are breaking the barrier of being able to traverse both water and land.

Amphibious Robots – An Overview

Image Credit: Rejdan/Shutterstock.com

What are Amphibious Robotic Systems?

Amphibious robots are machines designed to operate both on land and in water. These robots have features that allow them to move through different terrains and perform various tasks. Amphibious robots have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their versatility and ability to operate in harsh environments where traditional robots cannot function.

Features of Amphibious Robots

Amphibious robots have various features that enable them to operate effectively in water and land environments. These features vary depending on the design and intended use of the robot. Some of the essential components are:

Waterproofing

Amphibious robots are designed with waterproof seals and casings to protect the internal components from water damage. Waterproofing ensures the robot can operate safely and reliably in wet environments.

Buoyancy control

Amphibious robots have systems that enable them to float or submerge as needed. The buoyancy control is critical for amphibious robots to move efficiently through water environments.

Propulsion

Amphibious robots have specialized propulsion systems that allow them to move efficiently through water and land environments. The propulsion can be achieved by using wheels, tracks, or propellers, depending on the design and intended use of the robot.

Sensors

Amphibious robots have sensors that enable them to detect and navigate different terrains and environments. The sensors can detect obstacles, water currents, and other environmental factors affecting the robot's movement and performance.

Industrial Applications

Amphibious robots have a wide range of applications in various industries, including:

Search and Rescue

Amphibious robots can locate and rescue individuals in water-based disasters such as floods and hurricanes, navigate through flooded areas to reach inaccessible areas, and safely perform rescue operations.

Environmental Monitoring

Amphibious robots can monitor water and land-based ecosystems, helping detect pollution and other ecological threats. These robots can collect water samples, monitor water quality, and collect data on wildlife populations and other environmental factors.

Exploration

Amphibious robots can explore underwater environments such as lakes, rivers, and oceans, enabling scientists to study marine life and underwater ecosystems. These robots can be equipped with cameras, sensors, and other instruments to collect data and provide a detailed view of aquatic environments.

Advancements in Amphibious Robots

In recent years, there have been significant advancements in amphibious robot technology. Innovations in robotics technology have enabled companies to install more advanced sensors, propulsion systems, and other features on amphibious robots to ensure higher efficiency in different environments. Some of the notable advancements include:

Autonomous Navigation

Many modern amphibious robots have built-in navigation systems that let them move around on land and water without any help from a person.

Multi-Modal Propulsion

Some amphibious robots now have systems that let them move swiftly between water and land. These robots can move using wheels, tracks, or propellers, depending on the terrain and environment.

Advanced Sensors

As sensor technology has gotten better, it has become possible for robots to swim and fly with more advanced sensors. These sensors can give more accurate and detailed information about water currents, temperature, and quality.

Soft Robotics

Soft robotics technology, which uses flexible and deformable materials to create robots with soft and compliant bodies, has also been applied to amphibious robots. Soft, amphibious robots can move more quickly through complex and cluttered environments.

Limitations of Amphibious Robots

Despite their versatility, amphibious robots have some limitations that can hinder their effectiveness in specific environments. These limitations include the following:

Power

Amphibious robots require significant energy to operate on both land and in water, which can limit their range and endurance. Companies must design the batteries or power sources for the robots to withstand water damage and provide enough power to operate for extended periods.

Control

Amphibious robots can be difficult to control, especially in rough water environments, limiting their effectiveness in some applications. Controlling the movement and direction of the robot in water can be challenging due to factors such as water currents and waves.

Maintenance

Amphibious robots require regular maintenance to ensure their waterproofing and buoyancy control systems function correctly.

Cost

The development and production of amphibious robots can be expensive, making them less accessible for some industries and applications.

Conclusion

Amphibious robots are versatile and valuable tools for various industries, including search and rescue, environmental monitoring, military operations, and exploration. These robots have multiple features that enable them to operate effectively in water and land environments. However, there are some limitations when selecting amphibious robots for specific applications.

With ongoing advancements in technology, there is an expectation that the capabilities of amphibious robots will continue to improve, making them an increasingly valuable tool for a range of applications.

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References and Further Reading

Siegel-Itzkovich, J. (2023). Ben-Gurion University engineers develop one of the most efficient amphibious robots. The Jerusalem Post. Available at: https://www.jpost.com/business-and-innovation/article-732335.

Beatrice, A. (2020). Amphibious Robots: A Milestone Achievement in Versatile Movement. Analytics Insight. Available at: https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/what-is-nuclear-fusion

Whittaker, R. (2022). Mighty Morphin' Turtle Robot Goes Amphibious by Shifting Leg Shape. Scientific American. Available at: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/mighty-morphin-turtle-robot-goes-amphibious-by-shifting-leg-shape

Guo, Z., Li, T., Wang, M., (2018). A Survey on Amphibious Robots. IEEE Chinese Control Conference. Available at: https://doi.org/10.23919/ChiCC.2018.8483367

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are those of the author expressed in their private capacity and do not necessarily represent the views of AZoM.com Limited T/A AZoNetwork the owner and operator of this website. This disclaimer forms part of the Terms and conditions of use of this website.

Umar Sajjad

Written by

Umar Sajjad

Umar is a mechatronics and mechanical engineer by trait with a deep interest in Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Cognitive Science. He is an avid learner with a book always in his hand, always looking for something new to learn. Umar mostly spends his free time involved in sports and fitness with football, hiking and the gym as part of his daily routine.

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