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Shanghai Ocean University debuts manta ray-shaped bionic fish| Updated: Apr 23, 2024 L M S

Wen Yao, an intelligent soft-bodied bionic fish designed in the shape of a manta ray, was unveiled by Shanghai Ocean University on April 20, 2024. [Photo provided to]

An intelligent soft-bodied bionic fish, in the shape of a manta ray and named Wen Yao, was unveiled by Shanghai Ocean University on April 20 after over 10 years' research and development.

With a wingspan of 1 meter and a weight of 35 kilograms, the bionic fish has all its key components homegrown and boasts various advantages such as high efficiency, low energy consumption, multiple functions and high mobility.

"Based on the behavior of the real fish, we made bionic efforts in various aspects such as its form, movement, structure and materials, and achieved Wen Yao's biological outer contour fitting and dynamic motion simulation," said Chen Xinjun, head of the university's School of Marine Living Resources and Management.

With the advantages such as high efficiency, energy saving, low noise and concealment, the bionic fish can be widely used in ocean fishing, deep sea exploration and other fields, contributing to the development of marine economy and defending national sovereignty, according to the expert.

Chen said the bionic fish boasts big payload space. Equipped with high-precision sensors, imaging sonar scanning devices and other artificial intelligent technologies, it can help underwater monitoring and analysis in a more flexible way with lower costs.

In addition to the shape of manta rays, the research team has also developed other forms of the bionic fish including dolphins and moray reels. Moreover, the university recently signed agreements with a company in Shanghai to jointly develop soft-bodied bionic fish and to expand its market applications.

According to the university, the bionic fish will be equipped with smart chips in the future and is expected to provide support in sectors such as marine science, environmental protection, and economic development.

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