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Robotic submersibles take on fish-like sensing abilities

Darren Murph

Controlling your fish remotely is one thing, but utilizing fish sense to dictate the actions of an uncrewed submersible is an entirely different animal. Malcolm MacIver and colleagues at Northwestern University have created an "artificial electric-field sensing system that could ultimately give robotic subs the same additional sensory capabilities" as found in weakly electric fish. These particular sea-dwellers have an uncanny ability to sense electric fields, and can also generate their own to "help navigate, identify objects, and even communicate with other fish." The newfangled "electro-location" system could allow underwater bots big and small to more accurately maneuver and collect data, particularly in situations where precise movements and recognition of surroundings is important. Even the creators admit that it'll be quite some time before man made sensors can come close to mimicking those found in nature, but judging by the videos seen in the read link, they're certainly riding the right wave.

[Via NewScientistTech]

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