One thing fascinating swam throughout my Twitter feed lately: a video of a goldfish that appeared to be controlling a robotic fish tank with wheels, with the contraption following the route the fish was swimming. “Oh no,” I assumed. “They gave this goldfish a robotic, and now it’s unstoppable.”
Fortunately, it doesn’t appear to be it was finished as part of some evil plot. The goldfish mech swimsuit was posted by Ronen Segev, a researcher on a crew that was trying into how animals navigate. Helpfully, Segev hyperlinks to a full analysis paper within the Twitter thread, which ought to supply extra perception into the venture.
The fish had been tasked to “drive” the car in the direction of a visible goal within the terrestrial surroundings, which was observable by way of the partitions of the tank. Certainly, the goldfish had been in a position to discover the terrestrial surroundings, all whereas avoiding dead-ends and correcting inaccuracies. pic.twitter.com/RxPuzFbxkE
— Ronen Segev (@ronen_segev) January 3, 2022
The paper is formally titled “From fish out of water to new insights on navigation mechanisms in animals,” and its summary describes why the researchers “educated goldfish to make use of a Fish Operated Car (FOV).” They wished to check its capability to do one thing acquainted, navigating in the direction of a goal in an unfamiliar surroundings — on this case, land. To do that, the researchers tracked the fish’s actions with LIDAR, which let it “drive” in the direction of a goal that it may see outdoors of its tank.
Returning to the Twitter thread, although, a remark caught my eye — no, not the joke about The Umbrella Academy’s Carmichael, although it did get fun out of me. It was a remark about how another person had constructed a really comparable contraption. In 2014, Studio diip launched a video known as Fish on Wheels, which was meant to indicate off pc imaginative and prescient tech. When you’ve watched Segev’s video, Fish on Wheels will appear fairly acquainted; there’s a fish tank on wheels with a sensor that tracks the fish’s motion to steer the car. (Can we name it a car? Positive, why not.) Mainly, Fish on Wheels is identical concept however constructed for a special motive.
That’s once I began falling down the rabbit gap. Wanting into Fish on Wheels led me to a 3rd goldfish Gundam, this one made as a part of Carnegie Mellon College’s Build18 engineering competition, in accordance with a video posted of the venture in 2017. Based on Fascinating Engineering, the robotic was in-built three days by college students who “determined it will be superior if he [the fish, named Walter] may hang around with us!” You’ll be able to see the consequence under.
And guess what — searching a Reddit thread about that venture unearthed one more one that made robotic fish bowls. This one was a 2004 artwork set up by Ken Rinaldo known as “Augmented Fish Actuality.” It featured 5 robots managed by betta fish and was “designed to discover interspecies and trans-species communication,” in accordance with Rinaldo’s web site. Are there examples from even additional again that I haven’t discovered? How do individuals preserve doing the identical factor however seemingly for utterly completely different causes?
And after watching all these touring fish, there’s one factor that I completely, desperately have to know: what would my cat do if he noticed a goldfish rolling by in a robotic tank?