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, nicknamed, "Prop vs. Fin".

How to swim efficiently?

Reduce the drive-train to a minimum: 

A "Torque Reaction Engine" or TRE

Is a TRE efficient? Yes!

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


As described here,  my history with this project started with a stroke and human-powered research platforms. Rently:

A DPV, started in 2021, which will be in the water in 2023

Earlier prototypes

What for?

Surveying subsea cables and pipelines

Mapping seafloor, habitat

Measuring temperature, salinity, and pH

Inspection of interior of pipes

Studying fish and marine mammals