SUSTech sets bionic robotic fish speed world record
Chris Edwards | 02/25/2020

On January 23, a joint team from Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) and the University of Hong Kong (HKU) set the new world record for “Fastest 50 m swim by a robotic fish.” The team completed the course in 26.79 seconds, as recognized by Guinness World Records.

The collaborative work, named the VAYU Project, was developed by Professor Wang Zheng’s team at the Department of Mechanical and Energy Engineering (MEE) at SUSTech and a student team from the HKU Departments of Mechanical Engineering (ME), Civil Engineering (CE), and Electrical Engineering (EE).

The new mark of 26.79 seconds is the seventh-fastest fifty-meter world record time and is faster than the fifty-meter records for women’s backstroke and breaststroke. It is less than one second behind the record for the fifty-meter men’s breaststroke record.

The team of SUSTech and HKU students set the new world standard in robotic fish long course swimming at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen) swimming pool.

The Guinness World Records organization had two timekeepers and three witnesses on-site to ensure transparency, with cameras recording from multiple positions for both Guinness World Records and the VAYU Project.

Bionic robot technology has exploded in popularity in recent years by examining the structure, mechanisms, and unique features of natural organisms to determine how to fit into new robotic designs and controls. There are significant commercial applications for bionic robots, including disease prevention, environmental protection, and safety. Bionic robot research is a highly cross-disciplinary field that incorporates disciplines such as soft materials, mechanics, bionics, microelectronics, control, and computer sciences.

Bionic robotic fish do not use propellers but implement the graceful swinging tail of a fish. Such an engineering pathway is significantly quieter, consumes less energy, and does not pollute the local environment. As such, it offers a broad array of applications for underwater monitoring, safety, and biological scientific research.

The VAYU Project aims to set new world standards in high-speed bionic robotic fish. The last five years have seen numerous iterations pass through the hands of many researchers before the record-setting swim.

Guinness World Records website:

2020, 02-25
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Success at SUSTech

Proofread ByXia Yingying

Photo ByDepartment of Mechanical and Energy Engineering


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