This Robotic Tank Gives Goldfish The Steering Wheel

Fish mobility devices are now a reality.

This Robotic Tank Gives Goldfish The Steering Wheel

You go, fish!

5. MANUAL_fishcar

Fish on wheels
Photograph by Studio diip

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). The fish-on-wheels may yet graduate from a laboratory one-off; de Wolf launched a crowdfunding campaign to try to bring a consumer-friendly device to market.

Watch the fish drive de Wolf’s tank through the resource link below.


This article originally appeared in the July 2014 issue of Popular Science.

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