Report By: Nina Rai
22 May, 2012
What a grimy task checking the sea for pollution is, but someone has got to do it. So just think how much simpler it would be to get it done by a fish itself? Brilliant idea, isn’t it?
Well, this is where robo-fish comes in, an automated version of the real fish. It is the brain child of the researchers from the universities of Essex and Strathclyde, whose expertise have gone into making of this automated marine.
The yellow look-alike marine has sensors attached to it to detect leakages from ships or undersea pipelines. The robo-fishes swim on their own, co-ordinate with each other, and pass on their readings back to a shore station as far as a kilometre away.
A robo-fish thus has the capability to analyze a pollutant in seconds. This is a major improvement over gathering samples and waiting weeks for a result as in the case of other sea pollution control measures.
The first robo-fish, the proto-type of the real one, measuring 1.5m (5ft) has been tested off northern Spanish port of Gijon on Tuesday, May 21. The battery-powered machine looks and swims just like the real fish. But of course, it does not come cheap, and has a fancy price tag of £20,000
The developers of this marine project hope to be able to sell the technology to water companies, port authorities, aquariums and anyone who are into cleaning up of sea beds or into monitoring water quality.
Another noteworthy feature of the robo-fish, the project developers opine is that ‘It could also have spin-offs for search and rescue at sea.’
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