Team to create robotic fish
A university research team will make a robot fish to study how the aquatic animals swim.
Five research institutions, including the University of Bath, have been given €1.8m by the European Commission to build the swimming robot to understand how fish swim upstream.
The consortium is led by the Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, with partners Riga Technical University in Latvia, Italian Institute of Technology and the Universities of Verona and Bath.
The robotic fish will react to changes in current or flow, as a real fish might encounter in a fast-flowing stream or near the seashore.
It will also be used to film marine life near the shore, where conventional propeller-driven submersible robots have difficulty manoeuvring due to shallow water, kelp and currents created by waves.
The researchers will try to mimic the sense organ found in fish, called the lateral line, which allows the fish to detect the flow of water around it and react to it.
The fish's complex nervous system will be emulated by computer software which will allow the robot to adjust its swimming behaviour to compensate for the flow of water.
When the robot hits the water in a few years' time, it can also be used in biological research, de-mining activities, pollution control and monitoring the world's ecosystems.
The team at the Ocean Technologies Lab at Bath in the University's Department of Mechanical Engineering will be leading the fish biology for the project, looking at how fish respond to changes in flow.
Dr William Megill, lecturer in Biomimetics at the University of Bath, said: "Currently, most aquatic robots can't manoeuvre very well in the shallow water near the shore because they just get smashed against the rocks by the force of the waves.
"However, even in a tsunami, fish manage to sense and swim against the current so that they stay in the water, rather than ending up on the beach.
"So this project is interesting on two levels - firstly we want to understand more about how the fish manages to react to changes in current, and secondly we want to create a robot that mimics this artificially."
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
New era of cheap oil 'will destroy green revolution'
Ukip founder Alan Sked and Nigel Farage 'begged Enoch Powell to stand as a candidate'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...
£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...