Robot Fish Will Help Battle Pollution

High-tech 'carp' find chemical contaminants in Spanish harbor
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2009 10:51 AM CDT

(Newser) – Robots will soon be patrolling the harbor of Gijon, Spain, and if all goes well, the local sea life won't notice a thing, reports the Financial Times. The pollution-detecting bots cost $30,000 each and are modeled after carp, complete with shiny scales and an undulating swimming motion. "We are building on a design created by hundreds of millions of years’ worth of evolution which is incredibly energy efficient," said a researcher on the project.

The school of fish will roam the harbor, looking for pollutants and tracing them to their sources. When the 5-foot-long robo-fish return to their charging stations after 8 hours of swimming, they upload the data. "The hope is that this will prevent potentially hazardous discharges at sea," explained one of the professors who designed the creatures.