Robofish Swim Autonomously And Communicate Wirelessly

Robofish, robotic fish that can swim autonomously, are now able to communicate with each other and coordinate their swimming movements.

Kristi Morgansen, a UW assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at the University of Washington, built the robotic fish, and recently completed key tests in the 10,000 gallon test tank in basement of the Aerospace and Engineering Research Building. Co-authors on the recent paper were doctoral students Daniel Klein and Benjamin Triplett in the Department of Aeronautics & Astronautics, and doctoral student Patrick Bettale in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

(University of Washington Robofish)

The Robofish school will hopefully be able to contribute to oceanographic research, like trailing selected sea creatures or mapping the extent of pollution, as an autonomous task. The robotic fish can communicate wirelessly underwater using low-frequency sonar pulses; at present, data transfer speeds are limited to about 80 bytes per second.

Science fiction fans are familiar with Michael Swanwick's Mitsubishi turbofish; learn more about robotic fish:

Via Robofish are the ultimate in ocean robots, keeping in touch without scientists' help and Fin Actuated Autonomous Underwater Vehicle; thanks to Roland.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/8/2008)

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