Robofish takes to the water

Robotic fish to monitor and search for pollution in ports

Robotic fish will soon be swimming around Spanish harbours and may in future extend their activities to harbours in the UK. It’s not an attempt to repopulate

Europe dwindling fish stocks, but a new hi-tech way of monitoring and searching

for pollution in ports and other aquatic



battery-powered robofish is around 1.5m long and swims just like a real fish

using fins to change direction and to propel itself through the water. They

will also be given an intelligence so

that if they do find significant amounts of pollution and they deduce that it

is coming from a source, they can communicate with each other to work together

to find that source.

The fish have been developed

for the Shoal European Research Project and are currently undergoing

trials in Gijon to establish the best design. Each fish is entirely autonomous

and costs around £20,000, but that is put in perspective by DEFRA’s estimate that water

pollution in rivers, canals, lakes and coastal waters in England and Wales

alone costs £1.3 billion per annum.

To see the fish in action, click here.