The robotic fish has successfully infiltrated a flock of live fish and became their leader

For robotic engineers from Lausanne have implemented a complex and an interesting experiment: they made the aquarium of the zebrafish make a robot in one of them. The challenge with many unknowns – the car had to learn not only how to emulate the behavior of specific species of fish, but also on the fly to study the structure, psychology and the tactics of the pack. Experts have exceeded the task, the robot eventually took the place of leader of the pack of fish.

When the length of the robot body only 7 cm, the designers decided to leave only inside the mechanisms of mimicry. In motion machine is driven through an external antenna, which magnetic field is connected to the motor under the bottom of the aquarium. And he drags the robot through the water at the command of the controller – can only waggle a tail, imitating swimming.

The robot has the same proportions, shape, and color as the real zebrafish, but made it a little bigger. He varies the speed of movement and maneuver, is able to vibrate and to maintain different rhythms of movement, staying in the pack. At the initial stage, the robot watched the fish and tried to emulate them – they easily mistook him for his kinsman.

The experiment was then complicated and the robot spent many hours with ten different flocks of fish swimming in aquariums with different architecture, including a full underwater mazes. And when the system of machine learning has gained “mind-mind”, she began to influence the flock, causing the fish to swim in a given direction.

Summary: Swiss robotics has proved that the creation of Autonomous robotic systems for deep integration into the real world – a matter of time and technology.

Source — EPFL

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