Biorobotics Laboratory BioRob

Boxybot: design and realization of a fish robot

The world of fishes is extraordinarily diversified: each fish has evolved to adapt efficiently to its environment. Despite that fact, fish propulsion systems aren't used in common applications.

However, some universities are studying the possibility to develop better and noiseless propulsion systems for autonomous underwater vehicles with fishlike locomotion.

The review of fish robots shows that cruising has been already studied with success, but the autonomy is always restrained. Maneuvering has been less studied.


Amphibot II modules have been used to build the fish robot: the most adapted swimming mode is labriform or ostraciiform because it doesn't require a good hydrodynamic profile.

Relations between forward speed, amplitude and frequency of fin's oscillations have been characterized.


Plot 1Plot 2

The fish robot, named BoxyBot in reference to the Boxfish, is 0.25 m long and can swim up to 0.37 m/s, the minimal radius of turning observed is 0.13 m. The robot can dive, go forwards and backwards, swim on the side and do spins.

Project report

Movie of demonstration of BoxyBot I

Movies of BoxyBot II

A new version of BoxyBot that includes sensory systems had been built recently.