Robot Fish to Clean Up the Ocean

When we were children, we were told that someday, waaaay in the future, robots would be commonplace.  They would be able to do amazing things that we couldn’t begin to imagine.  As kids, we’d fantasize about what it would be like to live in this futuristic world, where machines seemed almost real.

The future is now!  And…it’s a fish.

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This amazing robotic creature was first unveiled at the London Aquarium in 2005.  People were allowed to come and see this marvel that resembles a carp, swims on its own with no remote, and mimics the actions of a real live fish.  It uses artificial intelligence and built-in sensors to avoid obstacles and respond to environmental changes.  Three robofish swam in the aquarium right alongside real carp.

Aside from the obvious novelty of these creations, they do have a more serious purpose.  In approximately 18 months, a shoal of the fish are set to be released off the coast of Spain.  Their mission:  detect pollution such as ship fuel or chemicals in the water.

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Adrian Dennis/AFP/Getty Images

The idea is that if the fish are able to detect pollution sources, before any damage is done, it will be of great benefit to the undersea environment.

If the project is successful, scientists believe that this robot fish could be useful world wide.   Personally, I think the fish is beautiful and sort of magical looking.  I don’t really know how to explain it, but I’m somewhat enchanted by it.  Perhaps it’s that little school kid that’s still in me, waiting to see what the future has in store for us.

The adult in me, is of course wondering how long it will take for the Governments of the world to turn these docile looking carp-bots into underwater cyber-spies.

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