The robotic fish presented in Gijón. (Photo: YouTube/Rebecca Leighton)
Robotic fish prototype presented
Thursday, May 24, 2012, 00:10 (GMT + 9)
The Port of Gijón presented the latest prototype of a robotic fish designed to ensure marine environmental monitoring in El Musel as part of the EU SHOAL R&D project, whose budget amounts to EUR 4.2 million.
The presentation was attended by the director of the Port Authority of Gijón, Julio de la Cueva; and by Luke Speller, SHOAL project manager worldwide.
On this occasion, an exhibition was held at the Aquarium of Gijón, where one of the prototypes is immersed in an 800,000 litre tank, called Oceanarium, and it swims with two bull sharks and three turtles.
| Pollution monitoring. (Photo: Rebecca Leighton)
The project consortium consists of the following partners: British Maritime Technologies, from the UK; Thales Safare SA, from France; the Port Authority of Gijón, from Spain; the National University from Cork (Ireland) and the Universities of Essex and Strathclyde, from the UK.
Since 16 April, SHOAL research team has performed different pilot tests in El Musel in order to check the various mechanical, communication, chemical and coordination teamwork systems.
It is anticipated that the pilot tests with the robotic fish will last until the end of June, 2012.
Research to create this robotic fish was started in 2009 in London. And SHOAL project was developed with the main objective of designing and developing a set of robotic fish that can detect chemical contaminants dissolved in water.
These robotic fish have electrochemical sensors and a complex and innovative submarine communication system, resulting from the combination of robotics, artificial intelligence and rapid chemical analysis.
As part of this project three robotic fish capable of analyzing the water and of communicating with each other were created so as to produce a real-time environmental map.
|Robotic fish. (Photo: SHOAL)
This development will help improve the collection of samples and reduce the number of trials necessary to achieve efficient outcomes, according to the Port Authority of Gijón.
De la Cueva explained that the robotic fish "can control many parameters such as salinity, oxygen levels or the presence of heavy metals in the water but many others can be added."
"Furthermore, the fact that the three robotic fish perform teamwork makes it possible for the control to be closer," he added.
Currently, the 1,300 Community ports annually invest around EUR 350 million in water control through the traditional method: divers collecting samples and sending them to a laboratory for analysis.
The port of Gijón annually invests EUR 100,000 in the same task.
By Analia Murias