Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fishing Out Trouble

Now here’s some technology we can all be thankful for and which was sorely needed given the condition of our seas.

European group BMT has introduced a new fish in the seas of Spain and this is one fish that’s not ending up on your dinner plate anytime soon! The Robo-Fish has been designed to swim even in the deepest parts of the ocean to detect pollution in the waters. This 1.5 m long fish has been made to emulate its real-life counterparts in every detail so as not to scare these inhabitants of the deep. Of course, its fish-like shape is the most suitable for its task since it is the most hydro-dynamic shape in nature whereas if the machine had been outfitted with propellers and the like there would be more chances of it getting snagged in the weedier depths.

So, this new Robo-fish works on several levels towards the cause of pollution detection. Not only can it swim to unprecedented depths to look for the presence of pollutants in the water, check salinity and oxygen levels; it provides constant real-time detection as opposed to periodic checks at harbours in which case it is often too late to check the spread or trace the culprits. The Robo-fish can also be fitted with detectors for different types of pollutants depending on the waters it is scouring.

With the construction cost of each fish at about £20,000, the robot is currently on its test swim in the waters of Spain. If it proves to be successful it is hoped to be seen in more countries across the world. 


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