A Fish Out of Water Quality?

I'm not a fan of Battlestar Galactica, but I have friends who love it. If you never saw the show, it's a story of human survival, the search for Earth, and Cyclons -- robots run amok. The '70s version of the Cyclons was pretty robotic, but the latest series sported a new, human-looking villain.

In the real world, researchers are developing robots that look like the real thing including humans, dogs -- and now fish that will help scientists in detecting water pollution. According to BMT Group Ltd:

"The carp-shaped robots will be let loose in the port of Gijon in northern Spain as part of a three-year research project. … If successful, the team hopes that the fish will used in rivers, lakes, and seas across the world, including Britain, to detect pollution."

BMT says the robots, which mimic the undulating movement of real fish, "will be equipped with tiny chemical sensors to find the source of potentially hazardous pollutants in the water, such as leaks from vessels in the port or underwater pipelines."

The "catch" to these fish is that they're expensive -- £20,000 (roughly $29,000 in U.S. dollars) -- and tempting targets for those who want to add them to their trophy collection. Until such technology is more secure and cheaper, the closest we'll see robotic fish in action will be in science fiction TV shows and movies.

More information about the research can be accessed at http://www.bmt.org/News/?/3/0/510.

Posted by Angela Nelson on Mar 24, 2009