Swimming Machines

Why swim?

I want to swim because engineers have known since the 1980's that fish and marine mammals are more efficient than propellers, see here.

BUT PARTS ARE BAD! Traditional robotic fish have vertebrae, multiple connecting rods, wires, motors, joints, hydraulic pumps, etc., etc. Parts, parts, parts! It doesn't matter what they are, they are all BAD!

Traditional robotic fish have too many parts and are NOT even as efficient as propellers, let alone as efficient as real fish.

Here is a paper by the Naval Research Laboratory on this topic.

How to swim efficiently?

Reduce the drive-train to a minimum:

A "Torque Reaction Engine" or TRE

Is a TRE efficient? Yes!

But what types of Phish can be made with a TRE?

Drone morphologies

human-powered fishBOOT

Fabrication techniques

3D modeling

great way to create cores for fiberglass molds

3D printing


Human-powered research platforms





Sequence of drones

What for?


a human-powered craft, the fishBOOT, lead to the fishBOAT drone


Help me qualify a refined version of the fishBOOT for the seventy48 race in 2023 (70 miles in forty-eight hours, all human-powered, no motor or sales, between Tacoma and Port Townsend, WA)

The fishBOOT -- easy, low effort, good in rough water!

I call this "Polywog". It is simple on purpose.