April 19, 2009
Scientists at Essex University in England spent three years developing a robotic fish that could navigate on its own and mimic the swimming motion of real fish. In October 2005, three of these amazing "robo-fish" were put on exhibit at the London Aquarium and have been drawing rave reviews ever since.
Essex U. and BMT Group (a British engineering company) are now planning to release 5 robotic fish off the coast of Spain. About the size of a seal, each fish will be equipped with sensors designed to detect spills, leaks and other types of pollution. Information on water quality will be relayed in real-time to a control centre via WiFi.
It's unlikely these fish will have the same spectacular "look" as their aquarium cousins. According to Professor Huosheng Hu, "This project's more focused on robustness. Appearance doesn't have a high priority."
Even so — the concept is brilliant.