TNB Night Owl – Fish That Can Drive

Amphicar, photo by Alf van Beem
Scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Israel conducted a study to see if fish could learn to drive. Short answer – Yes they can.

The vehicles were formed around a simple CM4 board, from there the FOV (Fish Operated Vehicle) included a motorized chassis that had the platform the fish tank was placed on. Beneath that there were four engines (Brushed DC Motors) connected to four omni wheels.

The fish ranged in size from 15-18cm in body length, and 80- 120g body weight. A LIDAR sensor that reads the surroundings enabled the fish to steer their tank and kept them from crashing. As the fish swam near one of the four walls the camera would pick up the movement and begin to move.

The “Drivers” were tasked to drive their FOV’s across an enclosed space towards an observable pink line on a wall. Once they reached the target the fish were given a treat. After the fish had practiced this task, they were able to hit their target at least 15 times per 30 minute session. Even confusing the fish by placing the line in different locations and using different color lines didn’t work and those fish just kept swimming towards the finish line.

The scientists stated in a paper posted on ScienceDirect “These results demonstrate how a fish was able to transfer it’s space representation and navigation skills to a wholly different terrestrial enviornment, thus supporting the hypothesis that the former possess a universal quality that is species-independent.”

The scientist credited in the study are Shachar Givon, Matan Samina, Ohad Be-Sharhar, and Ronen Segev.

QOTN: When are you going to train your goldfish how to drive?

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