A team of researchers has developed a robot fish that imitates the movements of a carp. They're from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), and they're calling their invention, of course, RoboCarp.

The robotic fish, or autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), is about five feet long, weighs 22 pounds and can dive to six feet. The technology uses an internal ballast system that enables the drone to dive and float like a real fish.

Said Professor Xu Jianxin, part of the research team, "Currently, robot fish capable of 2D movements are common, meaning that these models are not able to dive into the water. Our model is capabe of 3D movements as it can dive and float, using its fins like a real fish."


The NUS team used cameras to collect data on how real carps swim. They then converted the data and fed it into what they describe as "an advanced carp simulator." That information was then programmed in order to help RoboCarp move.

According to NUS, the team hopes to include GPS and a video camera in the next version. They are also working on making it smaller, which will allow it to dive deeper.

Currently the robot can be programmed to do certain tasks like explore wreckage, which larger more traditional underwater equipment cannot access. The team anticipates the AUV will be useful in various fields including military operations.

RoboCarp will be featured at the IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Tokyo this November.

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