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Monrovia Company Invents Solar-Powered Robo-Fish

The robotic fish powered by sunlight is the latest in drone technology created by Monrovia's Aerovironment.

Monrovia's already with its and now the company is looking to the sea in developing its latest robot animal.

The Huntington Drive-based firm has built an unmanned drone designed to mimic a fish called the "Mola," or ocean sunfish, Gizmag reports. The robo-fish, which does not carry a battery, uses solar panels to power itself in real time, according to Gizmag.

Resembling a rectangular solar panel with fins and a tail, a video of the "Mola" shows it swimming around much like a fish would. The robo-fish is able to cruise at a speed of 2 knots, according to the video, and its tail is covered in solar panels to capture additional energy.

But the "Mola" will have to surface and bask in the sun to get enough energy to operate, according to IEEE Spectrum.

"...AeroVironment says that only about 5% of the energy hitting the top of the ocean surface makes it through into the water, and that power decreases linearly with depth," IEEE Spectrum reported.

F.A.O. Schwartza August 29, 2012 at 03:37 PM
More junk the US Defense Dept. will pay dearly for. If the enemy is taking a swim--you got 'em. When Aerovironment finds the cure for cancer or the common cold THAT will be news
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 29, 2012 at 03:58 PM
It looks more like a robotic turtle. Or maybe a ray? I wonder what this could end up being used for?

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