May 30, 2012

Robotic fish in sea trials.


If it looks like a fish and swims like a fish, is it a fish?

SHOAL Robotic Fish Trial Launch

SHOAL launch

Not in this case, British consultancy BMT Group have been leading a project developing a robotic fish to aid in pollution detection with European scientists from different universities and organisations. Working as a shoal they can intelligently map and navigate an area, giving a second by second update of the quality of the water and even track down the source of any pollution it finds. An invaluable tool for any port authority or business that has discharge into a water course or marine environment.

The project is actually called SHOAL and is the collaboration of the years of research and development that has gone into the various aspects of what make this such a good tool. Using the latest robotics, artificial intelligence, chemical analysis, underwater communication and hydrodynamics they have managed to produce a robot that will blend into the marine environment and go about doing what it does best, taking on-board chemical analysis of the water it is swimming in and send that data back to the surface station, either by itself or through the shoal advanced communication system.

Reuers/SHOAL Consortium image of SHOAL

Undated photo of Reuters/SHOAL consortium handout on Robotic pollution monitoring fish

Other uses that have been suggested for this tool include diver monitoring, underwater security and search and rescue at sea (according to Reuters here)

 You can find out more about this remarkable new tool that was tested in the sea for the first time on Tuesday at the SHOAL website here



  • Yeah robotic fish are a great idea n’all, but they will never replace the real thing. I mean could you imagine the dentist bill if you had that with chips….man should not try and play god, the repercussions can be unfathomable.

    I think Bob you need to responsibility for what you write and point out the real issues when making these posts.

    • Thanks Dan we forget the important things when we write about the things that interest us, I hope you can forgive me for not thinking about the rammifications of replacing the fish stocks with robotic fish and the poor dentists that will have to repair our teeth in the future.

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