On March 4, 2021, "Self-powered soft robot in the Mariana Trench", a scientific research co-authored by Fanghao Zhou, a grade 2017 PhD student of Prof. Zhongbin Xu Group from the Institute of Process Equipment, the College of Energy Engineering, was published in the main issue of Nature and made the cover of the journal.
Prof. Zhongbin Xu has started collaborative research on forming and processing of dielectric new materials with Harvard University since 2014. Since 2015, he has been involved in the research of soft-bodied robot fish led by Prof. Tie Feng Li's team in School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zhejiang University, mainly undertaking the molding and processing of soft-bodied robot fish fabrication materials, design and fabrication of deep-sea pressure resistance and sealing devices, and numerical simulation.
Under the guidance of Prof. Zhongbin Xu and Prof. Tiefeng Li, Fanghao Zhou carried out mechanical modeling and simulation calculations of dielectric multilayer beam structures and a large number of pressure environment simulation experiments, which provided sufficient theories and pre-experimental basis for deep-sea tests.
In the deep sea test session, the group proposed a protective device and its encapsulation method to protect electronic devices under deep sea pressure, and designed and fabricated a set of deep sea pressure resistant sealing device to ensure that the machine fish successfully dived to the Marianas Trench at a depth of 10,900 meters.
Link to original article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-03153-z
Website of Prof. Zhongbin Xu Group: https://person.zju.edu.cn/xzb/567864.html