This just in. Convincing evidence the robot fish have evolved!
Once the size of a tiny minnow, a robot fish caught this week appears to be leading an entire school. There’s no telling how big this could get:
Like most great creature stories this one starts with a scientist or ten, in this case we’re talking about mechanical engineers. They started by introducing a robotic minnow to real fish in the wild back in 2008.
This robotic minnow was a perfect imitation of the real thing except one detail – it could move its tail at different speeds and frequencies. Turns out real fish are a bit lazy, just like humans, cause they like to follow in the wake of a faster fish. It wasn’t long before the real fish accepted the robot fish as their leader.
Now just a few years later, the robot fish have evolved and multiplied. Scientists have spotted robot fish of many species: robot carp, robot knife fish even a single robot shark. At this rate there will be more robot fish than real ones.
The robo-carp above was revealed this week by Italian scientists Stefano Marras and Maurizio Profiri who hope to use the robotic fish for good.
“We may be able to influence collective animal behavior to aid environmental conservation and disaster recovery efforts.”
But can the robo-fish be trusted to lead schools of real fish to safety? Or is fishing about to become a whole lot weirder?