Feeds

Robo-fish to hunt pollution in Spanish seas

The Search for Sarah Codder begins

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

ROTM Scientists in the UK plan to release a school of autonomous robotic fish into the sea off northern Spain to help detect for hazardous pollutants in the water.

The robots are designed to look like carp and swim like real fish so they won't scare the local meat-based wildlife while patrolling the port of Gijon. Each robo-carp costs upwards of £20,000 to make, measures 1.5 meters long (about the size of a seal) and can swim a maximum speed of about one meter per second (~2.24mph).

Five fish are being built by a robotics team at the University of Essex's school of computer science and electronic engineering. The project has been funded by the European Commission and is being coordinated by the engineering consultancy firm, BMT Group.

"In using robotic fish we are building on a design created by hundreds of millions of years' worth of evolution which is incredibly energy efficient," said BMT senior research scientists, Rory Doyle. "This efficiency is something we need to ensure that our pollution detection sensors can navigate in the underwater environment for hours on end."

Each robot fish is armed with autonomous navigation capabilities, allowing them to swim around the port without the need of human intervention. They also can return automatically to a charging station when their batteries run low after about eight hours of use.

When the fish return to robo-carp central for a charge, they beam water quality data to boffins via Wi-Fi. Scientists hope to use tiny chemical sensors on the fish to find sources of potentially hazardous pollutants in the water, such as underwater pipeline leaks.

Assuming the trial run goes well, scientists hope to use the robo-carp to detect pollution in rivers, lakes, and seas across the world.

See the fish in action:

Bootnote

Isn't this exactly how the plot of Megaman started?

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.