Freewheeling fish drives motorized tank with a flick of its fin

Feb. 2, 2017

No longer bound by the barrier of their bowls, fish can now utilize specially designed tanks to motor through their surrounding effortlessly.

Computer vision allows machines and robots throughout our plants to see and navigate effortlessly. But this inventive technology can also improve lives, offering increased mobility for those who need it. I am speaking, of course, about goldfish. No longer bound by the barrier of their bowls, fish can now utilize specially designed tanks to motor through their surrounding effortlessly.

According to Jessie Geoffray for Popular Science: "If Thomas de Wolf gets his way, pet fish will soon navigate terra firma. A co-founder of Netherlands design firm Studio diip, de Wolf built a motorized tank that empowers goldfish to drive around. 'We wanted to make something that showcases computer vision technology, but not in such an industrial way,' he says. 'We thought, "Let’s do something for fish."' De Wolf and fellow industrial designer Guust Hilte built a platform to hold a one-gallon tank and attached four DC motor–powered wheels, a miniature computer, and a battery pack. A webcam monitors the tank from above, and software analyzes the image feed to determine where the fish is. Then the program steers the tank relative to the fish’s location (e.g., if it’s at the front of the tank, the tank moves forward)."

About the Author

Alexis Gajewski | Senior Content Strategist

Alexis Gajewski has over 15 years of experience in the maintenance, reliability, operations, and manufacturing space. She joined Plant Services in 2008 and works to bring readers the news, insight, and information they need to make the right decisions for their plants. Alexis also authors “The Lighter Side of Manufacturing,” a blog that highlights the fun and innovative advances in the industrial sector. 

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