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JSUCamel
08-31-2009, 06:12 PM
http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/science/08/31/robotic.fish.mit/index.html

(CNN) -- Schools of robotic fish could one day map the ocean floor, detect pollution or inspect and survey submerged boats or oil and gas pipelines, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say.
MIT researcher Pablo Valdivia Alvarado works in his lab on a robotic fish he co-created.

MIT engineers are showing off the latest generation of so-called robofish 15 years after they built the first one. The latest incarnation is sleeker, more streamlined and capable of mimicking the movements of a real fish.

And it's capable of exploring underwater terrain submersibles can't, said Pablo Valdivia Alvarado, a mechanical engineer at the school.

"Some of our sponsors were thinking of using them for inspection and surveillance," Alvarado said. "Since these prototypes are very cheap, the idea was to build hundreds -- 200, 500 -- and then just release them in a bay or at a port, and they would be roaming around taking measurements."

MIT researchers built their first robotic fish, "Robotuna," in 1994. But Robotuna has gone the way of the dinosaur. Alvarado said the new generation -- modeled after bass and trout -- cost only a few hundred dollars and have only 10 parts instead of the thousands used in Robotuna.

At five to 18 inches, the new fish is much smaller than Robotuna and built from a single, soft polymer. And unlike Robotuna, the fish is able to be released in the oceans.

"Most of the brains, the electronics, are embedded inside," said Alvarado, who designed the robofish with fellow MIT engineer Kamal Youcef-Toumi. "We have built prototypes with the battery inside, but for my experiments, for simplicity. We have a lot of prototypes that are simply tethered. We have a cable that runs out from the body and connects to a power supply."

The new generation has withstood harsh conditions in the lab, including two years of testing inside tanks filled with tap water, which is corrosive to standard robots, according to Alvarado, who says the Robotuna inspired him to take the technology to the next level.

The oil exploration company Schlumberger helped fund the research, but Alvarado says the U.S. Navy has also expressed interest in the robofish.

MIT's mechanical engineers are now turning their attention to new challenges: A robotic manta ray and a terrestrial robot in the form of a salamander

Here's my question.. if these things look and act like fish, what's to keep, say, a shark from trying to eat one? What happens if a shark eats one?

Davian93
08-31-2009, 06:35 PM
The shark would likely die from internal bleeding after it tries to pass the electronics in its intestinal system.


Still cool though.

Ivhon
08-31-2009, 08:10 PM
nah...shark would be fine.

I ate a calculator in 8th grade for $50. No ill effects.

Davian93
08-31-2009, 08:30 PM
nah...shark would be fine.

I ate a calculator in 8th grade for $50. No ill effects.

I think the 5 inch variety would be survivable but the 18 inch mechanical fish would probably cause some pretty substantial damage depending on the shark.

Dragon Thief
08-31-2009, 08:55 PM
nah...shark would be fine.

I ate a calculator in 8th grade for $50. No ill effects.


So, did your poo become additive or multiplicative?

Ivhon
08-31-2009, 09:13 PM
So, did your poo become additive or multiplicative?

Logarithmic. Also solar powered with a battery backup.

Damn. If I hadnt been drunk I coulda sold that shit for BANK.

Zanguini
08-31-2009, 09:15 PM
if a shark were to eat a robofish that shark would absorb all of robofishes power and become roboshark the most deadly robot on the high seas.

JSUCamel
08-31-2009, 09:42 PM
if a shark were to eat a robofish that shark would absorb all of robofishes power and become roboshark the most deadly robot on the high seas.

That would be so cool. A roboshark that thrives in Hi-C.

Frenzy
09-01-2009, 12:42 AM
MIT invents robotic fish.

JSU invents robotic fisherman.

Chico State invents robotic beer.

Crispin's Crispian
09-01-2009, 10:27 AM
I think the 5 inch variety would be survivable but the 18 inch mechanical fish would probably cause some pretty substantial damage depending on the shark.

Well, 5.5 inches is average. Eighteen inches is just freakish.

Anyway, can't anyone visualize the dystopic future of this? Robotic fish roaming the seas, hacked by an evil fish-hating genius from the Midwest, destroying tuna and halibut stocks from coast to coast, and gruesomely murdering the last of the blue whales. This needs to be stopped now!

Davian93
09-01-2009, 10:30 AM
Well, 5.5 inches is average. Eighteen inches is just freakish.

Anyway, can't anyone visualize the dystopic future of this? Robotic fish roaming the seas, hacked by an evil fish-hating genius from the Midwest, destroying tuna and halibut stocks from coast to coast, and gruesomely murdering the last of the blue whales. This needs to be stopped now!

Wasn't that the plot of the GI Joe movie...

Gilshalos Sedai
09-01-2009, 11:29 AM
Skynet comes online in 5...4...3....

Belazamon
09-01-2009, 11:59 AM
Wasn't that the plot of the GI Joe movie...
I think there was more exploding ice in that scenario.