Researchers at EPFL’s Robotic Systems Laboratory have developed a “secret agent” fish robot. The idea is that the robot will mimic the behavior of the fish and join in the school to better understand the fish behavior.
Led by Professor Francesco Mondada, the group demoed the robotic fish at the Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machine (AMAM) symposium in Sapporo Japan earlier this year. See the second video below.
The robotic fish consists of two parts, the actual fish and a mobile robot that moves beneath the tank of water.
The aim of the project is to develop robots that can effect the collective behaviors of animals (bees and fish) and adapt on their own.
The researchers also wanted to develop a closed-loop system in which the robot is able to not only influence the fish’s behavior, but also adapt its own behavior by learning how to communicate and move like they do. As a result, the robot’s swimming mechanism – initially designed with the help of biologists – gradually improved as the robot spent more time with the fish.