MIT Science Guru Creates Robotic Fish For Marine Biology Research

Massachusetts Information and Technology Institute has been at the top of their field in so many arenas of technology for projects around the globe for years. Now the tech guru school has an up and coming tech scientist that created an aquatic robot they named SoFi. The robotic fish is about 18 inches in length and is about the size of an orange-lined Triggerfish that peruses the oceans of the Pacific.

The bionic fish was built by a young roboticist from MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) named Robert Katzschmann. The reason this robotic fish is so advanced technologically is that it can integrate with marine life. Most often robotic fish have spinning propellers and jets needed to keep the fish moving. However, this often scares the fish away from their natural environments making it nearly impossible to garner any substantial data on their habits and life cycles.

This new technology on SoFi has onboard sensors and it operates much like an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The robotic fish mimics the natural movements of other sea and marine life. SoFi can operate at depths of up to 18 meters. The fish can swim untethered for longer periods of time which makes it a great scientific tool for underwater observance.

It is designed to be used around coral beds and its design with a tail made of silicone rubber can go pretty much undetected from other aquatic life. By contrast to normal marine fish, the SoFi has one central eye for a camera that provides a wide-angle view to observers.

The robot is designed to be able to be used from up to 21 meters away via remote control. This usage is great for scientific observance of marine life in coral beds in a way that does not damage or disrupt the delicate eco systems of the coral beds. The camera films and records in real time.

Since there are so many concerns about the ecosystem of oceans and how they are impacted by climate change, pollution and other changes, SoFi is expected to be a big hit and a great breakthrough for marine life study. The contributions to marine biology will be many. This is the first time a robotic fish will be able to bring a camera view into an underwater world as it interacts and records the fragile eco system of the coral reefs.

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