A robotic octopus has been successfully tested in open water by utilising life-like swimming techniques which help it not only move quicker but blend into the environment better.
The robot has been developed by the Foundation for Research And Technology in Greece, it was created by a team of researchers who have been looking into alternative propulsion methods underwater.
According to CNET the team had originally built a prototype which used stiff but moveable arms to 'scull' through the water.
This year they were able to refine the design by adding not only silicone tentacles but also the webbing, resulting in 'speeds of 0.5 body lengths per second and propulsive forces of up to 10.5 N were achieved, with a cost of transport as low as 0.62.'
Since then the team have started both laboratory trials and open water tests, finding that among other wildlife the robot was actually treated as a living creature.
This revelation could potentially allow marine scientists to use the low-energy robots to monitor wildlife with minimal disruption to the ecosystem and surrounding environment.