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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Second Life: Robotic Fish @ London Aquarium

Created by robotics experts from Essex University, east of London, the creatures move around the tank like real fish, but unlike previous attempts at robotic fish, these are not pre-programmed.

Instead, they have sensor-based controls, meaning they move around the tank, avoiding objects and other fish, and reacting to their environment as a real fish would.

Professor Huosheng Hu, of the university's computer science department, said the aim of creating the fish and having them on display in a public place was to increase awareness about robots' capabilities.

He said the robotic fish, which took three years to create, could also be used in the ocean.

"This work has many real-world applications including seabed exploration, detecting leaks in oil pipelines, mine countermeasures, and improving the performance of underwater vehicles," he said.

Hu and his team wanted to create the ultimate fish: Aiming to emulate the speed of tuna, acceleration of a pike, and the navigating skills of an eel.

BBC reports
MSNBC reports

1 comment:

Peter Kim said...

I saw this in person yesterday. Quite brilliant - they behave very much like other fish. Unfortunately, the context in which they're placed doesn't give the viewer an appreciation for how cool this is - they'd be better off in the London Science Museum.

Visitors to the aquarium are mainly the under-12 crowd; comments I overheard at the exhibit were "they're fake" said in a disappointed tone. Would've been interesting to see them in a tank with some real fish.