RoboSalmon Are Descended From SHARCs
RoboSalmon, an underwater robot meant to spy on the real fish, is being developed at Glasgow University.
(RoboSalmon stands at the biomimetic ready)
RoboSalmon has a built-in camera to broadcast images of real fish back to the operators of the device. Zoologists will use RoboSalmon to monitor various fish species in their natural habitat.
A key feature of RoboSalmon is its propulsion system. Since the robot will use its fins and tail for movement, it will be able to move through the water in a way that is more natural for aquatic creatures. Propellers make an unnatural noise that disturbs fish; RoboSalmon's biomimetic characteristics should help it blend in.
Robot evolution (biomimetic or not) does not follow the course of natural evolution. It turns out the the RoboSalmon is a direct descendant of the SHARC - Submersible Hybrid Autonomous Rover Craft.
(SHARK design and propulsion system)
The SHARC was also designed as a biomimetic system, using its tail to move around.
I can't resist stories like this. In his 2002 story Slow Life, science fiction author Michael Swanwick writes about robot fish who help explore distant worlds:
The Mitsubishi turbot wriggled, as if alive. With one fluid motion, it surged forward, plunged, and was gone.
Lizzie switched over to the fishcam.
Black liquid flashed past the turbotís infrared eyes.
Straight away from the shore it swam, seeing nothing but flecks of paraffin, ice, and other suspended particulates...
(Read more about the Mitsubishi turbofish)
Robotic fish are all the rage now; if you like robofish, you'll enjoy these news items:
Via a very skimpy article here.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/30/2006)
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