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A robot fish - the next step to getting to know the sea.

Listen to this article Employees of the American University Northwestern have created a robot fish. As a model, they used a species called the Brazilian ghost knife fish, which is characterised by quite a specific anatomy, way of moving and a system of locating objects with the help of electro-reception. Thanks to a specially constructed
Published: May 2, 2011 - 10:43
Updated: February 9, 2023 - 10:38
Listen to this article

Employees of the American University Northwestern have created a robot fish. As a model, they used a species called the Brazilian ghost knife fish, which is characterised by quite a specific anatomy, way of moving and a system of locating objects with the help of electro-reception. Thanks to a specially constructed fin, the robot can move both forward and backward, but also vertically up and down.

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The long-term observation of this species, and the creation of a computer simulator of its way of moving, is expected to pave the way for the production of robots capable of taking part in search operations, but also being an excellent tool for long-term monitoring and gathering information on coral reefs.

The Brazilian ghost is a nocturnal hunter that prowls the Amazon basin. It detects its prey by means of electro-navigation. Its body is covered with numerous two types of electro-receptors formed from transformed nervous tissue.

The robot is equipped with an electro-sensor system that works very similarly to the natural conditioning of the Brazilian spirit. Scientists hope to soon make improvements that will eventually allow the device to use signals, from its sensors, to detect objects on its own and then, using a mechanical system, to position itself relative to that object.

It is a robot that, contrary to general trends, remains quite slow at the price of very high manoeuvrability. It can be used to explore the sea, but it can also be used to carry out underwater repairs (e.g. locating and fixing an oil spill) or to conduct long-term research and observation on coral reefs.

Source: northwestern.edu

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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