This goldfish and its steerable robot tank will destroy humanity

Mark our words. First this uni campus, then the world


RotM Students at Carnegie Mellon University have made a mobile goldfish bowl that the lucky fish can drive around by itself – and they've filmed it for posterity.

The video shows a reasonably large fishtank on wheels being “driven” around by an unusually active goldfish.

The Reddit thread – yup, it’s one of those – reveals that “the direction and speed of the robot is determined by the position of the fish relative to the middle.”

The video also gives a great demonstration of the free surface effect, which is where a liquid in a part-filled tank on a moving vehicle sloshes around, destabilising the vehicle. The fishtank is about three-quarters full.

If left unchecked, particularly in ships at sea with a compartment flooding through damage, the free surface effect can create a positive feedback loop, fatally destabilising the vehicle. Happily, that does not happen to the robot fishtank, which instead lurches around at the unwitting commands of an increasingly worried-looking goldfish.

Youtube Video

The battery-powered robot was powered by a Raspberry Pi 1, and the source code for the whole project can be found on Github. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • Amazon shows off robot warehouse workers that won't complain, quit, unionize...
    Mega-corp insists it's all about 'people and technology working safely and harmoniously together'

    Amazon unveiled its first "fully autonomous mobile robot" and other machines designed to operate alongside human workers at its warehouses.

    In 2012 the e-commerce giant acquired Kiva Systems, a robotics startup, for $775 million. Now, following on from that, Amazon has revealed multiple prototypes powered by AI and computer-vision algorithms, ranging from robotic grippers to moving storage systems, that it has developed over the past decade. The mega-corporation hopes to put them to use in warehouses one day, ostensibly to help staff lift, carry, and scan items more efficiently. 

    Its "autonomous mobile robot" is a disk-shaped device on wheels, and resembles a Roomba. Instead of hoovering crumbs, the machine, named Proteus, carefully slots itself underneath a cart full of packages and pushes it along the factory floor. Amazon said Proteus was designed to work directly with and alongside humans and doesn't have to be constrained to specific locations caged off for safety reasons. 

    Continue reading
  • Tata Consultancy Services to create touchy feely 'Internet of Actions'
    Gets a grip on tech from Japanese startup to make it work

    The Japanese outpost of Indian services giant Tata Consultancy Services has revealed it is working on the "Internet of Actions" – an effort to bring the sense of touch to the internet.

    Tata has paired with a Japanese upstart from Keio University, Motion Lib, to spearhead the endeavor.

    TCS said it will eventually deliver a "new social infrastructure" by commercializing Motion Lib tech. But first and more practically, the company will create a demonstration environment for "real haptics" technology at its Digital Continuity Experience Center (DCEC) showroom.

    Continue reading
  • Look to insects if you want to build tiny AI robots that are actually smart
    Flying, swarming, decision making already in production in nature

    Roboticists could learn a thing or two from insects if they're looking to build tiny AI machines capable of moving, planning, and cooperating with one another.

    The six-legged creatures are the largest and most diverse multi-cellular organisms on Earth. They have evolved to live in all sorts of environments and exhibit different types of behaviors to survive and there are insects that fly, crawl, and swim.

    Insects are surprisingly intelligent and energy efficient given the size of their small brains and bodies. These are traits that small simple robots should have if they are to be useful in the real world, a group of researchers posited in a paper published in Science Robotics on Wednesday.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022