You must have developed a fair idea of what 3D scanning technology is by now. It is an interesting engineering and an effective mechanism that makes reverse-engineering possible for all kinds of hardware ranging from small tools to the parts of aircrafts. Now, it is important for updating spare parts that are under manufacturing and their blueprints. It is used for repairs regularly. However updated you are, you are likely not to know that a robotic swimmer was made by this technology recently.
Yes, you have not read it incorrectly. Though it may seem like something from any science fiction movies, it has been realised by Tokyo University of Technology, where 3D scanning was to capture the figure of a professional swimmer and the data was then used to develop a robot ‘Swumanoid’ that can swim in freestyle and can do backstrokes.
The innovatively constructed robot is thought to help scientists in learning much more about swimming than the act has been known through the past. Besides, a greater cause is involved behind this venture and that is making swimming safer for regular swimmers. The robots are intended to aide and help troubled swimmers in the oceans by behaving as lifeguards.
Professor M. Nakashima was the head of this research and development project. Previous studies on swimmers and swimming have never been entirely accurate due to the fact that motion sensors are tough to be affixed on swimmers and do not work as well in water as they do otherwise. Moreover, being humans, swimmers naturally tire out and cannot continue to swim in exactly the same manner for hours since they start. Swumanoids are handy for such situations. These robots enable experts to measure the force that is needed to propel a person through river or seas.
That was all about the robot but now the technology that was implemented in this project must be discussed as well. A 3D scanner was employed to capture the motion of the body a human swimmer. The comprehensive data were used to develop a robot, which comprises of twenty motors that are controlled by computer and can perform perfect swimming movements. These robots are water resistant, obviously.
The robot is quite efficient fro front crawling and back strokes but due to lack of legs, it cannot perform breast strokes. It reaches maximum speed only 1/3 of a professional swimmer but still is a good start. Indeed, this 3D scanning innovation has to be followed on.