Development of Small Fish Robots Powered by Small and Ultra-Light Passive-Type Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
Yogo Takada, Ryosuke Araki, Yukinobu Nakanishi,
Motohiro Nonogaki, Kazuaki Ebita,
and Tomoyuki Wakisaka
Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka City University, 3-3-138 Sugimoto, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 558-8585, Japan
Small fish robots, the size of a killifish – 5 cm long – are potentially in finding disaster victims in flooded areas, because of their ability to navigate narrow confines. Powering such robots, however, becomes a question, since the easiest answer – rechargeable batteries – has low energy density. The “Power Tube” we developed is a small and ultra-light passive-type polymer electrolyte fuel cell. Based on this fuel cell technology, we fabricated a 110 mm fish robot combining a drive, consisting of a DC motor and link, with a Power Tube having a hydrogen generator. We also fabricated an energy-efficient submersible fish robot with neodymium magnets and coil actuators, that methanol-fueled Power Tubes powered with a voltage booster.
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