"A four-finned robot ripples through the water, taking inspiration from the movement of cuttlefish.
Although the animal is better known for its powers of disguise and stunning communication skills, its undulating swimming motion is also noteworthy, allowing for efficient and agile motion.
Created by Pascal Buholzer and fellow students from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich, the copycat robot, named Sepios, demonstrates that its finned design can be an environmentally friendly alternative to propellers."
The robots, known as Spheres (Synchronised Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental satellites), currently have limited capabilities.
It is hoped the smartphones, powered by Google's Project Tango, will equip the robots with more functionality.
The robots have been described by experts as "incredibly clever".
When Nasa's robots first arrived at the International Space Station in 2006, they were only capable of precise movements using small jets of CO2, which propelled the devices forwards at around an inch per second.
"We wanted to add communication, a camera, increase the processing capability, accelerometers and other sensors," Spheres project manager Chris Provencher told Reuters.
The Mars Colonisation project by ZA Architects suggests that humans could colonise the red planet by living in underground dwellings dug out of the planet's bedrock by an advance party of solar-powered machines. "Curiosity sooner or later will bring human to Mars and wouldn't it be nice to have permanent station to explore it?" said Arina Ageeva of ZA Architects.