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"There was a time when one old eccentric guy with a notebook could do something important to science. Now even the resources of a major university are often not enough."
- Jerry Pournelle

Robofish (Mitsubishi Robot Turbot)  
  A powerful, meter-long robotic fish used to take samples from liquid lakes on other worlds (like Titan).  

Very nice novelette describes the exploration of Titan in a thoroughly modern way; astronauts do pure science while carrying on good public relations via the web.

Consuelo carefully cleaned both of her suitís gloves in the sea, then seized the shrink-wrapís zip tab and yanked. The plastic parted. Awkwardly, she straddled the fish, lifted it by the two side-handles, and walked it into the dark slush.
She set the fish down. "Now Iím turning it on."
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 as they loomed up before it and were swept away in the violence of its wake. A hundred meters out, it bounced a pulse of radar off the sea floor, then dove, seeking the depths...
Snazzy Japanese cybernetics took in a minute sample of the ammonia-water, fed it through a deftly constructed internal laboratory, and excreted the waste products behind it. "Weíre at twenty meters now," Consuelo said. "Time to collect a second sample."
The turbot was equipped to run hundreds of on-the-spot analyses. But it had only enough space for twenty permanent samples to be carried back home. The first sample had been nibbled from the surface slush. Now it twisted, and gulped down five drams of sea fluid in all its glorious impurity. To Lizzie, this was science on the hoof. Not very dramatic, admittedly, but intensely exciting...
From Slow Life, by Michael Swanwick.
Published by Analog in 2002
Additional resources -

MIT made robofish - in their case, a robotuna - as early as 1994.

This story is a lot of fun - you can read it on the web. Don't miss Slow Life by Michael Swanwick.

Compare to these other underwater robots, Wabbler From The Wabbler (1942) by Murray Leinster and the robotic Eel from Re:Set by Susan Beetlestone.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Slow Life
  More Ideas and Technology by Michael Swanwick
  Tech news articles related to Slow Life
  Tech news articles related to works by Michael Swanwick

Robofish (Mitsubishi Robot Turbot)-related news articles:
  - Robotic Fish From China
  - Robofish Autonomous Fish-bot At London Acquarium
  - Robot Turtle Madeline Flipper Science
  - Robotic Carps Swims Realistically In London
  - RoboSalmon Are Descended From SHARCs
  - Liquid Lakes On Titan Ready For Robofish
  - Antarctic ENDURANCE Robot Helps NASA Explore Europa
  - Robofish Swim Autonomously And Communicate Wirelessly
  - Tai-robot-kun Robot Sea Bream
  - Robotic Fish To Detect Pollution
  - Robot AquaPenguins Soar Underwater
  - MIT Robofish Now More Fishy
  - Coelacanth Robot Discovered In Japan
  - Little Robotic Fish Has Solid-Polymer Fuel Cell
  - Could Robot Fish Lead Gulf Fish To Safety?
  - AQUA2 Underwater Robot With Flippers
  - Robofish Quick As Startled Pike
  - GhostBot Robotic Ghost Knifefish
  - Robot Fish Lead, Real Fish Follow
  - Robofish - To Europa!
  - SHOAL Robotic Fish Patrol Harbors
  - BIOSwimmer Robotic Tuna To Patrol Homeland
  - Grace, MSU's Energy-Efficient Robofish
  - Robot Fish Now With Autonomous 3D Swimming
  - MIT Robotic Fish Is Self-Contained, Autonomous, Fast
  - NASA Submarine For Titan
  - Robo-Dolphin Demonstrates Porpoising
  - Exploring Oceans Across The Solar System
  - Blood Battery Robotic Fish
  - Robot Tuna Swims As Fast As Nature's Tuna

Articles related to Robotics
Prototype Robotic Masseur Has The Touch
Medical Assistant Robot May Roam The Halls Of Hospitals
Amplified Nerves Lead To Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Hands
FlyCroTug Micro Drones Do Heavy Lifting

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