Summary

  • A team of researchers in the UK has created underwater fish robots called the Bluebots to study fish swimming and schooling. They are about 10cm long, have cameras and LED lights to see and navigate, and swim like a real fish by using tiny fins.
  • Each Bluebot can group or disperse as needed with little to no human interaction by calculating their neighbor’s distance and direction. They can also cooperate to complete a task. One robot in a group sends a signal to call the others when it completes the task.
  • The researchers expect to use the robots for various purposes in the future, such as monitoring fragile natural environments, exploring underwater spaces that humans cannot reach, and searching for-and-rescue missions.

Discussions

  • Do you think studying the Bluebots would really help scientists understand real fish better? Why or why not?
    • Yes. If we could imitate real fish behavior well, We can say we have understood real fish much better.
  • Do you think researchers and scientists should create more underwater robots like the Bluebots? Why or why not?
    • Yes. If we develop robots like Bluebots, we can study a lot of perspectives of the underwater world.
  • Do you think scientists should continue developing underwater robots? Why or why not?
    • Yes. It’s important to be environmentally less harmful(including biodegradability) for those swarms of small robots since they would have chances to be eaten by larger underwater predators easily.
  • Aside from underwater research, what other applications can this technology have (e.g. transportation, mapping of terrain)? Discuss.
    • The robots might be able to be used for constructing underwater structures if they are robust enough.

References