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What makes a robot fish attractive? (Hint: It's in the moves)
Date:3/1/2012

" fish attracted little attention. When the robot simulated the familiar tail movement of a leader fish, however, members of the school assumed the behavior patterns they exhibit in the wild, slowing their tails and following the robotic leader.

"These experiments may open up new channels for us to explore the possibilities for robotic interactions with live animals an area that is largely untapped," explained Porfiri. "By looking to nature to guide our design, and creating robots that tap into animals' natural cues, we may be able to influence collective animal behavior to aid environmental conservation and disaster recovery efforts."

The researchers posit that robotic leaders could help lead fish and other wildlife that behave collectively including birds away from toxic situations such as oil or chemical spills or human-made dangers such as dams. Other experimenters have found success in prompting wildlife to move using non-living attractants, but the researchers believe this is the first time that anyone has used biomimetics to such effect.


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Contact: Kathleen Hamilton
hamilton@poly.edu
718-260-3792
Polytechnic Institute of New York University
Source:Eurekalert

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