News From The Future-32

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NEWS FROM THE FUTURE – Robot Fish Scan For Pollution

One of the easiest ways to detect otherwise unseen underwater pollution in our lakes and oceans is to monitor the animal life. Sometimes subtle changes in fish population can signal a greater problem that demands immediate attention. Not content to let living creatures be our canaries in the coal mine, a British firm named BMT is heading a project to create robotic fish that will monitor water quality at a fraction of the cost of human divers. 

Called SHOAL fish, the aquatic robots are roughly the size of a large tuna, and are designed to move and act much like a living ocean fish. The SHOAL contain a litany of on-board censors that can detect chemical leakage and other man-made environmental hazards. One one of the robots finds something suspicious, it alerts port authorities who can quickly respond and — in theory — remove the source of the pollution.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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