In a bout of weird technology, we see humanoid robots that so resemble humans, when put next to them they are difficult to tell apart from their human counterparts. All is clear however, when you start to interact with these robots.
Fish however, seem to be much easier to fool.
A pair of scientists from New York’s Polytechnic Institute have discovered that real fish will follow a robot fish, if it hels them reduce energy during swimming.
The scientists tested this out, by putting a robot fish in a tank and live fish would follow, if the robot fish had a fluid swimming motion. Fish would only follow the robot when it has its motion just right. It allows for the fish to use up less energy, similar to how geese fly in a vee formation.
What is good in this discovery is that if live fish can be lead by a robot fish, the robot can be employed to move populations of fish away from any dangers, such as oil spills, and other environmental disasters. The scientists say that it also sheds light on the motives of why fish form schools, including that energy conservation is very important to the schools of fish.
Not all the fish were fooled by the robot, as it was twice their size and covered in plastic. Although the experiment was interesting in that most of the fish introduced to the robot would readily make it their leader.
Interesting research, although I can’t help but think that this may become a new fish lure in the not so distant future. I would actually feel sorry for the fish for being so easily tricked, if that ever happened.