Autonomous robotic fish

Biologically inspired by the common carp, the newdesigns can avoid objects and swim around a specially designed tankentirely of their own accord. This new kind of cyber-fish took three years to develop, by a team of scientists from Essex University.

Future generations may be used for seabed explorations, detection of leaks in oil pipelines, or even as spies. We have embedded sensors on board - so, unlike theprevious fishes that have remote controls, these are fully autonomousand artificial-intelligence based," lead researcher Professor HuoshengHu.

Their undulating movements are also said to be more realistic. "This one is more life-like - it mimics normalswimming and sharp turning," he explained. "People get confused andthink it's a real fish."

Source: 13 August 2007