Robot fish jives with tank-mates and has them fooled

We talked about how robots might see us humans off right before we breathe our last, in addition to helping us maintain our fitness by being our jogging buddy, but how about robots interacting with animals instead? In particular, we are talking about robot fish here, where a painted robot fish complete with a smiley face (not that the fish would care, I believe) clearly gained the approval of its tank-mates when placed within. It seemed that scientists’ experiments with it attracted both male and female zebrafish through the movements of its mechanically operated tail.

This robot measures 15cm in length, and has been spray painted with the characteristic blue zebrafish stripes. This is but the beginning, and the researchers hope to come up with more advanced versions of robot fish in the future in order to contribute to conservation as well as control pest species under water. This robot fish is the combined effort of both US and Italian scientists, sporting a rounded shape in order to mimic the look of fertile females.

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