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Friday, March 20, 2009

Robot Fish


Photo, Common Carp

Scientists are building a shoal of robot fish to be let loose in the port to check on the quality of the water. Modeled on carp and costing about $29,000 each to make, the fish are to be lifelike in appearance and swimming behavior so they will not alarm their fellow marine inhabitants. The robots, the first of their kind, are equipped with tiny chemical sensors capable of detecting pollutants in the water. These let the fish home in on the sources of hazardous pollutants, such as leaks from vessels or undersea pipelines. The fish were developed by the University of Essex in Britain and UK-based engineering consultancy BMT Group. They are the result of a three-year research project funded by the European Commission.

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