The fish use servo-actuated two-link tails and flapping pectoral fins, which allow them to swim like any other fish, going in any direction, making sharp turns, or even swimming backwards. Powered by NiMH rechargeable batteries, each fish controls its own movements using onboard microprocessors for collecting data and processing control commands, and they’re equipped with a pressure sensor to gauge depth, and a 3D compass.
The point? Robo-fish that can school can be used to track things such as oil spills and wildlife, gathering much more information and covering much more distance than single units. This means we can learn more at a faster rate…if we can get them to work in the oceans and not just a safe swimming pool. There is also the issue of how sonar pings that the fish use to communicate with one another might interfere with the sonar used by the wildlife they’re sent to track. And also the issue of…well, there are a whole lot of issues yet to be addressed. Let’s just first see if the things can work accurately, I suppose.
written by Jeff - ScienceSays, June 13, 2008
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