A silicone robot has survived a journey to a depth of 10,900 meters near the Mariana Trench. This device could contribute to lighter and more flexible submarine structures.
China has developed a robot design similar to snails, which have relatively thin, soft bodies and live at great depths – they have been observed at depths of up to 8,000 meters.
The robot resembles a stingray – it is 22 centimeters long and 28 centimeters wide. It is made of silicone rubber with electronic components all over its body, connected by wires. This solution is better than most robotic components mounted on a circuit board, which are the weak link in high-pressure environments.
The robot was designed to explore the sea depths and was successfully tested at the bottom of the Mariana Trench while attached to a traditional submarine. It moved at great depths for 45 minutes. The robot swam on its own at a depth of 3,224 m in the South China Sea at a speed of more than 5 cm/sec.