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Solar Fish

The oceans and seas of our planet are still a mystery for humans, and yet contain millions of creatures.

New species are regularly being discovered under the waves and scientists are curious to explore the deepest and furthest reaches of this frontier to better understand our planet and to gain inspiration for our future.

The Sunfish, is an enormous, flat looking fish. It is become the inspiration for the designers at AeroVironment to craft an ocean swimming robot, Mola, which is driven only by solar energy.

The locomotion of this robot is similar to the sunfish which periodically comes to the surface of the water allowing birds to remove and dislodge the parasites from its body. Mola, the robotic fish, has the habit of sunbathing at the surface of the water to charge up its internal parts using the sun’s rays.

The robot is designed to spend most of its time deep in the water with the purpose of recording biological, physical and chemical elements of the seas it finds itself in.

Mola is designed to operate with only 5% of the sun’s rays hitting the top of the water surface. The levels of sunlight decrease with depth linearly, so as the robot drives deeper, it gets further away from its energy source.

However its efficient design means there is no on-board battery, and Mola only utilises the abundant sun’s rays to navigate.

The designers of Mola are not new players in the field; they have already come up with various innovative unmanned robots. This is an extraordinary, self-powered aquatic robot which will allow mankind to monitor the mysterious blue with only with a natural solar supply.


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