First there was the super tiny robot fish that spies on Zebrafish. Then there were the robotic fish powered by synthetic blood and a robotic fish that assimilate with the fishes. Now, Harvard University has taken robotic fish to the next level with a bunch of robot fishes called Bluebots that does what real fishes do: schooling together.
Collectively known as Blueswarm, Bluebots are autonomous robot fishes that can synchronize their movements like a real school of fish without any intervention. Each Bluebot is outfitted with two cameras and three LED lights for 3D vision of its schoolmates. Meanwhile multiple fins inspired by reef fish allows each fish to move freely in 3D. Here’s how it works:
“Cameras detect the LEDs of neighboring robots and the Bluebots use a custom algorithm to determine their distance and direction. This allows the Bluebots to perform complex behaviors like aggregation, dispersion and milling.”
The researchers said the robot fishes can perform simple search mission too. While they can actually rescue, they can help to locate the subject and do so where GPS and WiFi are not available. The Bluebot is a breakthrough development as it is the first time multiple complex behaviors in underwater swarms are done without any external base stations or external control.
Have a look at the Bluebots in action in the video below.
Image credit: Harvard University.
Source: New Atlas.