Robot fish could rescue schools of live fish

We all know that a great part of conservation activities is concerned with wildlife preservation. In this very respect, scientists are conducting various experiments for opening up newer and more effective avenues. In one such effort, researchers at NYU-Poly are probing that biomimetic fish could plausibly be made to lead a school of live ones away from disaster sites. If this conception could be transformed into reality, you can well imagine how effective our disaster management will prove for the wild world.

What Makes a Robot Fish Attractive?

To begin with, Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University conducted a series of experiments to understand the collective behavior of animals. This would enable them to decipher the exact mechanism to be integrated into the biomimetic robots so that they could steer away herds of fish from the site of environmental disaster.

Finally after the experiments the researchers were able to conclude that the robotic fish has to mimic the tail propulsion of a real swimming fish. Varying tail beating frequencies and speed flows were tested, which revealed that fish at the front of school always beat their tails more rapidly and hence signaling others to follow them. It was found that the followers have a slower frequency of beating their tails, implying that they enjoy a hydrodynamic advantage over their leaders.

Stefano Marras, a post doctoral guy from the NYU-Poly and Maurizio Porifiri, associate professor of mechanical engineering at NYU-Poly were the two main leading personnel, who participated in these experiments. Their study, if successful, could me mimicked for many wildlife forms, including birds. The robot animals would be of great help in naturally driving away fish and similar animals from the toxic sites and other hazardous situations.

Via: NYUPoly

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