These faux fish help detect water pollution in seconds, a process that would normally take weeks and involve human divers physically collecting water samples in possibly polluted waters (ew!) and sending the samples back to a lab. With these robot fish, sensors in the fish record sample location and chemical makeup, and researchers know in seconds whether a harbour is polluted.
Each fish uses artificial intelligence (AI) and sonar to map its location and manoeuver the waters, avoiding obstacles that might otherwise damage it. Also, the AI allows the fish to find other robot fish . . . they “communicate” with each other, so to speak.
While independently, the fish can explore the water region, they need to work together to track down the source of the pollution. They do so via ultrasonic communications. And they do all this with minimal disruption to natural marine life, since they look so much like, well . . . fish.
We can’t help but wonder how much these fish get paid. Anyway, the research group is known as SHOAL and are about to start test trials in Spain.
Photo Credit: SHOAL