13-mm-long robot-fish designed by scientists to ‘eat’ microplastics in oceans

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
London   Updated: Jun 23, 2022, 10:24 AM(IST)

13-mm-long robot-fish designed by scientists to ‘eat’ microplastics in oceans. Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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The robo-fish has been created from materials inspired by elements, which are available in the sea, like mother-of-pearl or nacre. It has been used in the interior covering of clam shells. A material similar to nacre was created by layering various microscopic sheets of molecules, as per nacre’s specific chemical gradient. It is also stretchy, flexible to twist, and can pull a weight up to 5 kg, as per the study

A tiny robot-fish has been designed by scientists to remove microplastics from oceans. This 13-mm-long fish will swim around and adsorb the microplastics through its body. What is special about this fish is that its body is soft, flexible and self-healing. It is also a self-propelled fish. With the help of a light laser system in its tail, the fish can swim and flap around at almost 30 mm a second. It is similar to the speed at which plankton drifts in moving water.

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The robo-fish has been created from materials inspired by elements, which are available in the sea, like mother-of-pearl or nacre. It has been used in the interior covering of clam shells. A material similar to nacre was created by layering various microscopic sheets of molecules, as per nacre’s specific chemical gradient. It is also stretchy, flexible to twist, and can pull a weight up to 5 kg, as per the study.  

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This fish will help in solving the worsening microplastics issue in the world. “It is of great significance to develop a robot to accurately collect and sample detrimental microplastic pollutants from the aquatic environment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of such soft robots,” said Yuyan Wang, researcher, Polymer Research Institute of Sichuan University. Wang was one of the lead authors of the study, which has been published in the journal ‘Nano Letters’.   

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(With inputs from agencies)

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