You are here: Home » PTI Stories » National » News
Business Standard

Bio-inspired robots can mimic live fish

Technology Internet

Press Trust of India  |  New York 

Scientists have developed bio- inspired robots that "see" and mimic the behaviour of live fish in real time, and may help improve our understanding of marine animals.

Biomimetic robots have been deployed alongside live animals to better understand the drivers of animal behaviour, including social cues, fear, leadership, and even courtship.

However, the encounters have always been unidirectional - the animals observe and respond to the robots.

Scientists at the New York University in the US have now developed robots that can watch back.

Researchers tapped advances in real-time tracking software and robotics to design and test the first closed-loop control system featuring a bioinspired robotic replica interacting in three dimensions with live zebrafish.

The team tested the interaction of the robotic replica and live zebrafish under several different experimental conditions, but in all cases, the replica and the live fish were separated by a transparent panel.

In preference tests, zebrafish showed greater affinity- and, importantly, no signs of anxiety or fear - toward a robotic replica that mirrored its own behaviour rather than a robot that followed a pre-set pattern of swimming.

While mirroring is a basic, limited form of social interaction, these experiments are a powerful first step toward enriching the exchange between robots and live animals.

"This form of mirroring is a very simple social behaviour, in which the replica seeks only to stay as close as possible to the live animal," said Maurizio Porfiri, professor at NYU.

"But this is the baseline for the types of interactions we're hoping to build between animals and robots," said Porfiri, who led the study published in the journal Scientific Reports.

"We now have the ability to measure the response of zebrafish to the robot in real time, and to allow the robot to watch and manoeuvre in real time, which is significant," he said.

Scientists are now investigating social interactions among live zebrafish to better understand the animals' natural cues and responses.

"We are learning what really matters in zebrafish social interactions, and we can use this information to help the robot interpret and respond appropriately, rather than just copying what it sees," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, February 08 2018. 12:35 IST