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UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
03-21-2009, 03:10 AM,
#1
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
click link to see what it looks like..




LONDON (Reuters) - Robot fish developed by British scientists are to be released into the sea off north Spain to detect pollution.

If next year's trial of the first five robotic fish in the northern Spanish port of Gijon is successful, the team hopes they will be used in rivers, lakes and seas across the world.

The carp-shaped robots, costing 20,000 pounds ($29,000) apiece, mimic the movement of real fish and are equipped with chemical sensors to sniff out potentially hazardous pollutants, such as leaks from vessels or underwater pipelines.

They will transmit the information back to shore using Wi-Fi technology.

Unlike earlier robotic fish, which needed remote controls, they will be able to navigate independently without any human interaction.

Rory Doyle, senior research scientist at engineering company BMT Group, which developed the robot fish with researchers at Essex University, said there were good reasons for making a fish-shaped robot, rather than a conventional mini-submarine.

"In using robotic fish we are building on a design created by hundreds of millions of years' worth of evolution which is incredibly energy efficient," he said.

"This efficiency is something we need to ensure that our pollution detection sensors can navigate in the underwater environment for hours on end."

The robot fish will be 1.5 meters (nearly 5 feet) long -- roughly the size of a seal.

http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyN...E52J1RY20090320
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03-21-2009, 04:35 AM,
#2
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
I wonder what the chances are something bigger and alive will try to taste one of these "fishes".
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03-21-2009, 04:40 AM,
#3
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
Quote:I wonder what the chances are something bigger and alive will try to taste one of these "fishes".

The thought crossed my mind too - I wonder how long until such 'creatures' get 'militarised'. eerie stuff
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03-22-2009, 12:28 AM,
#4
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
Quote:
Quote:I wonder what the chances are something bigger and alive will try to taste one of these "fishes".
The thought crossed my mind too - I wonder how long until such 'creatures' get 'militarised'. eerie stuff
No chance - there's nothing that big left.

You're more likely to find them as steaks and fillets on your local supermarket's wet fish counter...:)
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03-23-2009, 07:14 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-23-2009, 07:14 AM by ---.)
#5
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:I wonder what the chances are something bigger and alive will try to taste one of these "fishes".
The thought crossed my mind too - I wonder how long until such 'creatures' get 'militarised'. eerie stuff
No chance - there's nothing that big left.

A bigger robot fish - with teeth? .. or octopus?

Robot octopus will go where no sub has gone before

* 21 March 2009 by Paul Marks
* Magazine issue 2700. Subscribe and get 4 free issues.
* For similar stories, visit the Mysteries of the Deep Sea and Robots Topic Guides

Video: See some of the technology going into the robot

Related editorial: Arise, Roboctopus!

INVEST €10 million in a robotic octopus and you will be able to search the seabed with the same dexterity as the real eight-legged cephalopod. At least that's the plan, say those who are attempting to build a robot with arms that work in the same way that octopuses tentacles do. Having no solid skeleton, it will be the world's first entirely soft robot.

The trouble with today's remote-controlled subs, says Cecilia Laschi of the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa, is that their large hulls and clunky robot arms cannot reach into the nooks and crannies of coral reefs or the rock formations on ocean floors. That means they are unable to photograph objects in these places or pick up samples for analysis. And that's a major drawback for oceanographers hunting for signs of climate change in the oceans and on coral reefs.

Because an octopus's tentacles can bend in all directions and quickly thin and elongate to almost twice their length, they can reach, grasp and manipulate objects in tiny spaces with extraordinary dexterity.

"So we are replicating the muscular structure of an octopus by making a robot with no rigid structure - and that is completely new to robotics," she says.
We are making a robot with no rigid structure. And that is completely new to robotics

The team will have its work cut out. The octopus has evolved a beguilingly manoeuvrable muscle architecture. Each tentacle has four independent muscles running along its length. These longitudinal muscles are separated by transverse muscles which span the width of the limb with an axial controlling nerve that passes through its centre.

This arrangement keeps the tentacle's volume constant, so when it extends a limb by elongating the longitudinal muscles and contracting the transverse ones, it also becomes narrower.

The nearest engineers have come to mimicking this before is with a snake-like tentacle whose segments inflate with compressed air. But while this machine could move well, it did not become narrower when stretched - nor could it work underwater because of the buoyancy of air.

So Laschi and colleagues in the UK, Switzerland, Turkey, Greece and Israel are testing artificial muscle technologies that will more accurately mimic tentacles (Biomimetics and Bioinspiration, DOI: 10.1088/1748-3182/4/1/015006). The team plans to mimic the longitudinal muscles with soft silicone rubber interspersed with a type of electroactive polymer (EAP) called a dielectric elastomer. Apply an electric field to this material and it squeezes the silicone, making it shorter (see diagram).

While Laschi has high hopes for the robot, others are more sceptical. Claire Little, a cephalopod expert at Weymouth Sealife Centre in Dorset, UK, thinks the researchers have underestimated the magnitude of the task. "Don't they realise how flexible an octopus is? They can squeeze through the smallest of holes. This plan sounds a bit crazy," she says.

But Laschi is undeterred. The team has yet to build a tentacle but have built a mechanical simulator that mimics the forces that the EAPs produce. This has proved that the peculiar motions of an octopus tentacle can be copied, she says.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg2012...ref=online-news

I wonder how long until the robot mermaid
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03-24-2009, 04:42 PM,
#6
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
They are missing a trick there.

Octopi are SMART and could be TRAINED to do those jobs anyway.

Best leave robots to make cars and mine coal....
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03-26-2009, 10:29 AM,
#7
UK team builds robot fish to detect pollution
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSibkb6aKHM
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