Scientists Build Mechanical Manta Rays

A robotic ray may reveal secrets of efficient swimming.
3:00 | 08/14/12

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Transcript for Scientists Build Mechanical Manta Rays
Watch -- mandatory gliding through the water it moves so we easily you may think it's disgraceful or for that matter scary because of -- -- But it's also there we -- in the fish. Now watch this back -- right. It moves much the same way except the color is wrong and extremely capable this one is a robot being tested in the pool at the University of Virginia. Researchers are trying something -- I -- in the court they figure nature got something right but it created an Angel is so they're trying to copy. We have a very unique propulsion mechanism that's not. Seen in Britain and any other types of underwater species -- -- trying to understand. How with a swim and why -- -- when -- -- do so that we can apply that knowledge in the development of underwater autonomous vehicle. A mechanical relays swimming on its own could be used to patrol the ocean water and -- -- pollution. -- -- could be used as a weapon silently carrying explosives. A couple of the really practical reasons why would be interested in -- to -- either efficiency of speeds. And then maneuvered. It's you know understanding of science basically allows us to ticket fine -- -- -- nature has already. -- and there's still a lot of work to be done but researchers see they have been for Warren. -- -- mechanical Mediterranean. And given the right coloring and then look so realistic. The sharks were wanting heat. The potter ABC news New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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