Move out RC boats; there's a new fish in town! Scientists at the Imperial College of London have developed a leaping, farting fish-bot that that can be used to monitor reefs or ice floes.

In a report by the Daily Star, the flying-fish automaton can swim, glide and skip rough waters thanks to its high-powered propulsion system. Mirko Kovac, the director of the Aerial Robotics Laboratory at the Imperial College in London, said that the robot could transition from water to air in seconds.

Kovac said that its locomotive principle is based on the "flying fish." According to the bot's blueprints from the journal Science Robotics, the 160-gram fish-bot can manage a flight distance of 26 meters "using 0.2 grams of fuel."

Spider soft-robot
A new fabrication process enables the creation of soft robots at the millimeter scale with features on the micrometer scale as shown here with the example of a small soft robotic peacock spider with moving body parts and colored eyes and abdomens. Wyss Institute at Harvard University

It uses calcium carbide pellets with the water it's swimming in to produce acetylene gas. The combustible element turns the miniature "fish" into a gliding, farting jet that can operate in short intervals.

Kovac added that the automaton could be useful as an observation tool. He said that the small device could "be used for reef monitoring or arctic sea monitoring."

Scientist at the Imperial College of London believes that it could be the future of sea travel. Kovac noted that the method they presented would allow several amphibious vehicles to transition out of the water temporarily.

The technology would allow seafarers to navigate under challenging terrains such as rocks and icebergs. It would render traditional aquatic vehicles obsolete if ever the technology pushes through the market.

The prototype has already shown promise, as it enables scientists to operate in "more complex environments" with ease.

In the Institution's YouTube page, the flying-fish bot can be seen jumping out of the lake, followed by a water stream at its tail. The chemical reaction between water and the calcium carbide pellets creates a small explosion that lifts the craft off the liquid substrate.