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
areas.

Each
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.