Robot Fish: Because Android Children Deserve Unsatisfying Pets Too

So it's not expressly intended to provide baby Asimos with unfulfilling relationships, but that would be adorable, no? In reality, it fancies itself an industrial tool, for monitoring "pipelines, sunken ships, and pollution". Where's your whimsy, robofish?

Designed by scientists at MIT, this mechanised trout shares a lot in common with the British robo-carp we saw earlier this year. For one, its primary use is to carry sensors and monitor industrial projects that present accessibility problems for divers and larger submersibles. It's also colourful, ornate and exceedingly fishlike, which is fun for us, but probably doesn't do a whole lot for its effectiveness as an industrial chemical sniffer.

Unlike the carp, though, these fish aren't comically huge, nor are they very complicated: Each one has just 10 parts, draws just a few watts of power, measures in at between 12 and 20 centimetres long, and moves in a startlingly lifelike way. (Video below.) The fish are just a research project for now, but the university has firm plans to use these same techniques to build robotised salamanders and manta rays. You know, for science! [CNET]

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