This article has been published on the website of the ACM.
Traditionally, underwater robots/drones are bulky, unintelligent, and sluggish; they sense their environment with sound via sonaror by sight via a camera, but that often gives them only a limited underwater view.
Maarja Kruusmaa, founder and director of the Center for Biorobotics at the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, has endowed underwater robots with a completely new sense: the artificial lateral line, an electronic organ that enables her lab's underwater robots to extract information from the water around it, and to act on it. "Just like robots on the land can map a landscape, our robots map a flowscape underwater," says Kruusmaa. "The flowscape gives the robot precise information about the pressure, pressure differences, and the acceleration of the flow."
Read the complete article on the website of the ACM.