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A Robot Fish : Becoming The Leader Of The Real Fish

Can you remember, in school, may be we studied Ecology or some type of Ecosystem, 3 types of layer etc? According to the rules of Ecosystem in water, the smaller and weaker ones goes into the bigger and stronger ones. What a chain! But this chain system led some of the animals like fish to be extinct. Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University have made a fish alike robot, that can behave like an original fish and can save the existence of extinct fish.


The idea of making robot fish came from probing the largely unexplored question, ‘What characteristics make a leader among schooling fish?’ And finally researchers have discovered the answer, ‘By mimicking nature, a robotic fish can transform into a leader of live ones.’

The researchers from Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) named Marras and Porfiri designed their bio-inspired robotic fish to mimic the tail navigability of a swimming fish. After that, they conducted some experiments at varying tail beat frequencies and flow speeds. The purpose of these experiments was to increase understanding of collective animal behavior. They will program the robot fish with the same natural animal behavior. In general, fish positioned at the front of a school beat their tails with greater frequency and create some type of excitement for which their followers gather and follow. It’s some type of echo/sound or invisible rhythm that points out the the followers to follow. The followers find a notably slower frequency of tail movement of its immediate ahead fish. Interesting thing is, the followers follow because the enjoy a hydrodynamic advantage from the leaders’ efforts. The researchers believe that one day the fish robots will steer the real fish away from environmental disasters.

Porfiri said, “These experiments may open up new channels for us to explore the possibilities for robotic interactions with live animals — an area that is largely untapped. By looking to nature to guide our design, and creating robots that tap into animals’ natural cues, we may be able to influence collective animal behavior to aid environmental conservation and disaster recovery efforts.”

As everything depends mostly on fish’s tail movement, hope so, the herd of real fish don’t recognize the robot fish. No doubt, the robot fish in future would be of great help in naturally driving away the real fish and fish alike animals from the toxic sites and other hazardous situations.

Source : NYU.Poly
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