Scientists at Michigan State University are designing and studying robotic fish
Scientists at Michigan State University are designing and studying robotic fish to be made to swim in schools in order to monitor environmental signs such as accumulations of algae and oil spills. Through the use of sensors and wireless capabilities, the fish can travel in water to collect information. But why go to all that trouble to simulate real fish if other underwater devices can be deployed for the same purpose?
Researchers working with fish robotics say that fish are worthy of simulation as they behave in ways that underwater devices cannot match. Fish are remarkably energy efficient. They have superior agility and speed when changing direction and maneuvering.
What’s more, robotic fish can be told their destination and they can guide themselves from that point on, unlike remotely operated devices that need continuous commands: Speed up, go right, go left.
The robotic fish under development at MSU were demonstrated at a recent three-day BEACON event. BEACON is a National Science Foundation-funded center for the study of evolution, headquartered at Michigan State University with partner institutions at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Washington, North Carolina A&T State University, and the University of Idaho. Viewers watched as a robotic fish swam in an aquarium at MSU.
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