Thursday, 30 October 2014
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A fishy tale

Three stunningly beautiful fish with jewel-bright scales are now on display at the London Aquarium.

Not exactly strange for an aquarium, you might think, until you discover that all of them are robots produced by Professor Huosheng Hu and his human-centred robotics team of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Essex.

Professor Hu's team have been working with the London Aquarium for three years to develop the biologically inspired robotic fish which mimic the undulating movement of nature's fish species – aiming for the speed of the tuna; the acceleration of a pike, and the navigating skill of the eel.

All the robotic fish have sensor-based controls and autonomous navigation capabilities – they can find their own way around the tank safely, avoiding the objects, and react to their environment.

According to Professor Hu, the aim of the project is to bring the public in direct contact with robots, increasing their understanding of science and technology.

'This work also has many real-world applications including seabed exploration, detecting leaks in oil pipelines, mine countermeasures, and improving the performance of underwater vehicles,' he said.


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