Thursday, May 3, 2018

A Fish Steers Its Own Robotic Fish Tank Because Science

Engineers are the best problem-solvers around. We look to them to shore up our bridges and prevent our planes from falling out of the sky. In times of crisis, we call upon their skills to find solutions. 

But before they get to that stage, engineers have to learn by trying out tons of things and proving concepts that might not have obvious practical applications. For example, this robotic fish tank. You would be hard pressed to find a use for it in daily life, but you can't help being fascinated by at the same time. And you can't deny that some interesting engineering must have gone into it. 

Mark your calendars – you now live in times when fish can drive their own aquariums around. 

If you can get past the cognitive dissonance of watching a fish try to swim in a particular direction and instead drive its watery home around a gymnasium, there's some pretty cool engineering going on here.

The robotic tank, built by a few students at Carnegie Mellon University, uses the fish's position in the water relative to the middle of the tank to determine which direction the tank will travel and how fast it will get there.

As the fish swims around the tank, the robot changes course and speed accordingly. This is officially the cutting edge of aquarium technology. 

If you have nightmares about fish taking over from land-dwellers by piloting their own tanks – both the turret kind and the aquarium kind – well, it's one step closer to reality.

Or maybe this will show up in Pixar's next movie about a lost fish. 

If nothing else, this is probably the most surreal thing you'll see today. So you have that going for you, which is nice.

Check out the fish tank in action below!


Author: verified_user