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Manta Machines

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Science  27 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6033, pp. 1028-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6033.1028

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Swimming like butterflies underwater, with mesmerizing ease and grace, manta rays are the envy of engineers seeking more efficient underwater vehicles. For the past 3 years, researchers at Princeton University and the University of Virginia have been working to understand how these meters-wide fish are so light on their fins. Now, their students are putting the insights they have gained to the test—in a manta robot competition between the two collaborating universities.