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Popular Mechanics

In an article for Popular Mechanics, Tiana Cline spotlights SoFi, an autonomous, soft, robotic fish that can swim alongside real fish. “SoFi has the potential to be a new type of tool for ocean exploration and to open up new avenues for uncovering the mysteries of marine life,” Cline notes.

Sarah Toy of The Wall Street Journal writes that CSAIL researchers have developed a soft robotic fish that can capture images and video of aquatic life. “The key here is that the robot is very quiet as it moves in the water and the undulating motion of the tail does not create too much water disturbance,” says Prof. Daniela Rus.

BBC News

SoFi, or “soft robot fish”, was developed by researchers in CSAIL to better observe marine life without disturbance. “…it's specially designed to look realistic and move super-quietly through the waves,” writes BBC News, whose brief also features a video of the fish in action.


CSAIL researchers have developed a soft robotic fish that can unobtrusively observe marine wildlife, writes NPR’s Colin Dwyer. Known as SoFi, the robot is “more likely to get close to aquatic life acting naturally,” explains Dwyer, “which could mean its camera has a better chance at snapping some candid shots to pass on to marine biologists.”


A soft robotic fish created in CSAIL could be used to study marine life in the wild. “Using sound, divers can pilot the robot fish from almost 70 feet away,” writes Matt Simon for Wired. Future versions of the device, known as SoFi, “would use machine vision to lock onto individual fish and follow them around, all without raising suspicion.”

National Geographic

Research published in Science Robotics reveals the functionality and future potential of CSAIL’s “SoFi” robotic fish. “Scuba-diving humans don't exactly blend in, which can make it hard to watch some animals up-close,” writes Michael Greshko for National Geographic. “SoFi could act as marine biologists' unobtrusive eyes and ears.”

The New York Times

Using sound waves manipulated by a Super Nintendo controller, CSAIL’s “SoFi” robotic fish “may provide biologists a fish’s-eye view of animal interactions in changing marine ecosystems,” writes JoAnna Klein for The New York Times. SoFi is fairly inexpensive and hardly disturbs surrounding marine life, making it a promising solution for underwater observation.


CSAIL researchers have developed a soft robotic fish, known as SoFi, that can “capture high-resolution photos and video with a camera built into its nose,” writes Will Dunham for Reuters. “The robot can be used as a marine biology instrument and also to measure pollution in coastal waters, to create maps, to do inspection, to monitor and track,” said Prof. Daniela Rus.

NBC News

Kate Baggaley of NBC News highlights a team of MIT researchers who have developed a computer model to explain how albatrosses fly so efficiently. “Unlike other birds that flap their wings frequently, the albatross rides the wind,” which researchers are hoping to duplicate as they attempt to create drones that fly by harnessing power from the wind and sun, she explains.

BBC News

Prof. Daniela Rus talks to Gareth Mitchell of BBC’s Click about how she and her colleagues have developed shape-shifting robots that can change their exoskeletons to perform different tasks. “These types of robots could become superheroes for the robot kingdom,” explains Rus. “A robot could amplify all of its capabilities by taking on these different types of clothes.” 

New Scientist

CSAIL researchers have developed a new shape-shifting robot that can change outfits in order to perform different tasks, reports Timothy Revell for New Scientist. “In the future, we imagine robots like this could become mini surgeons, squished into a pill that you swallow,” explains Prof. Daniela Rus. 

CBC News

CBC reporter Nora Young explores how MIT researchers have developed a new material, inspired by beaver fur, that could help keep surfers warm. “In sports technology there's a great need for textiles that have great insulating properties in water, but still let you stay agile and nimble,” explains graduate student Alice Nasto. 

Scientific American

Graduate student Alice Nasto speaks with Cynthia Graber of Scientific American about her research designing a material inspired by the fur that keeps beavers and sea otters warm. Nasto explains that the fur "evolved to trap air, and this air provides a layer of insulation for them in water.”

Popular Science

Writing for Popular Science, Lindsey Kratochwill reports that MIT researchers have discovered that the hundreds of eyes on a chiton's shell can see. Kratochwill explains that the researchers hope that by “understanding how these eyes work and the materials that make them up could lead to manmade materials that are both protective and perceptive of their environments.”

The Atlantic

Atlantic reporter Ed Yong writes that MIT researchers have found that chitons, a type of mollusk, have a suit of armor dotted with hundreds of eyes that can perceive objects. The researchers found that chitons could “detect the shape of a 20-centimeter fish from a few meters away.”