Robot fish detect pollutants

If you happen to visit the Spanish port of Gijon, you may notice some giant yellow robotic fish swimming around. These 5 foot long swimmers are part of a proposed sensor network to detect pollutants in the water.  Equipped with an array of sensors, the fish can test for general water quality, or swap out the sensors for specific testing. They communicate with each other to keep from straying too far from the rest of the network and the base charging station.

The fish was designed by the Shoal Consortium, a European commission funded program that draws from intelligent minds in universities all over europe. While the fish cost over $35,000 right now, mass production should reduce that cost considerably.

You can see them swimming around in the BBC video at the link.

Comments

  1. hspsoftware says:

    “Who wants to go fishing for spare parts?”
    … Quite Literally.

    It could also be interesting to try and hijack the acoustic signals…

    Well I’m just being evil now! :@

  2. GaspingSpark says:

    I don’t understand why they try so hard to make them look like meals for bigger fish.

  3. Sp@ckler says:

    I really dig the fish (and the efforts required to build it), I just think the whole idea is nothing short of a farce.

    Spain has one of the most laxist policy regarding sewage and dirty water treatment.
    Can’t help but think that those 35.000€ would be far better used for adopting new regulations, upgrading the existing treatment systems and augmenting the coast guards budget…

  4. Andrew says:

    Yeah… I can totally see this becoming an environmental issue when fish start ingesting robotic fish, and then the toxicity slowly builds up between multiple generations of fish. I can’t recall the term for it… but it seems like a similiar thing to Hg poisoning in tuna, and the whole reason why DDT is horrible for environmental reasons. This [the robotic fish] just scream a horrible combination of the two (to me).

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