Marine biologists are always searching for new ways to obtain closer looks at marine wildlife, and the MIT-designed SoFi is an underwater robot that could help significantly.
While most underwater robots look awkward and stick out like a sore thumb, SoFi is different. It moves in a subtle way, comparable to a fish, blending in with its surroundings in the process. Consequently, SoFi doesn't scare marine wildlife away as it peruses the underwater ecosystem.
SoFi is fitted with a forward-facing camera and takes advantage of a hydraulic pump to move its silicone tail back and forth through the water. All the while, a diver controls the robot's every move via remote control.
In this video footage, you can see SoFi swimming right along with schools of fish, and this wouldn't be possible with other kinds of marine robotics.