Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Robofish

London Aquarium's robotic attraction

August 21 , 2006

This is an image of visitors looking at a robotic fish at the London Aquarium.
Young visitors catch a glimpse of the robotic fish at the London Aquarium. (Photo: Courtesy of the London Aquarium)

By Gail Hennessey

August 21, 2006

Swimming around the London Aquarium is a rather unusual kind of fish—it’s robotic.

“[Visitors] are usually very impressed and quite intrigued to see what is in effect a robotic fish that swims just like a real fish, with the same flowing movements,” says Michael Michaels, general manager of the London Aquarium in Great Britain.

Currently there are three “robofish” swimming around at the aquarium. The fish can be programmed to swim at different speeds and depths. Their batteries last about four hours before they need recharging.

“We tell children as well as adults that the purpose of having the robotic fish in the Aquarium is for educational and entertainment purposes. Robots and automatic devices are entering our lives at an ever-increasing rate,” said Michael. “It’s a great way for people to see robotics in action.”

The robotic fish is about 21 inches long. It is made with materials, including sequins, to look like fish scales. The insides of the fish are made with molded plastics that are watertight. This is where the electronics and motors are found.

"We have embedded sensors on board—so, unlike the previous fishes that have remote controls, these are fully autonomous and artificial-intelligence based," said lead researcher Professor Huosheng Hu.

Over the past 10 years, scientists have been developing robotic fish with movements that are similar to those of real fish. The robotic fish at the London Aquarium has been in development for the past three years. It marks the first time that a robotic fish is able to operate on its own (without outside controls). Researchers have high hopes for the future of the robotic fish.

“We hope that eventually the fish will be able to swim in real oceans and rivers and perform real-world tasks, such as detecting leaks in oil pipelines, detecting mines, or improving the performance of underwater vehicles,” said Paul Cardy of Essex University.

As for the real fish in the aquarium, they don’t seem to notice anything “fishy” about their robotic companions.

Teacher's Helper

Have your students read today's news story, and then have them answer the following question.


Critical Thinking Question:
Robofish

What do you think people can learn from robotic fish?

 

RELATED WEB SITES

London Aquarium

To find out more about the London Aquarium's most unusual attraction, visit their Web site.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Grade 5 (Levels Q-W)

    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Grade 5 (Levels Q-W)

    Available August 2015!

    The all-new Guided Reading Short Reads brings the same high-quality nonfiction of the original Guided Reading Short Reads to both Spanish and English-speaking learners. Access to short informational texts builds vocabulary acquisition and content area knowledge for all students, providing rich support for students who are learning Spanish, and building confidence in Spanish-speaking learners that they will carry over to their English instruction.

    NEW! Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas:
    •Fits seamlessly into classroom guided reading groups
    •Teaches strategies for decoding and comprehending complex texts
    •Builds rich domain-specific vocabulary across content areas
    •Engages students with thematically linked passages across text types
    •Provides sufficiently complex, short informational texts worthy of being read, reread, and analyzed

    Each level includes:
    •10 Student Informational Text Cards, 6 copies each
    •1 Teaching Guide
    •Magazine-style storage box


    Set Includes:
    • 588427 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level Q
    • 588428 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level R
    • 588429 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level S
    • 588430 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level T
    • 588431 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level U
    • 588432 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level V
    • 588433 Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Level W


    Visit the Scholastic Guided Reading Program website for more information.

    $689.00 You save: 25%
    Supplementary Collection | Grade 5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Guided Reading Lecturas Cortas Grade 5 (Levels Q-W)
    Grade 5 $689.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Habitats: Coral Reef

    Habitats: Coral Reef

    by Gary W. Davis

    By looking at small, specialized habitats, this series brings to life the multiple complexities present in even the most common or simple environments.

    $4.87 You save: 30%
    Paperback Book | Grades 2-4
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Habitats: Coral Reef
    Grades 2-4 $4.87
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com