Robot Fish Helps New York Scientists Understand Mating Behaviour

A painted robot fish with a smiley face became an instant celebrity when placed in a tank containing living versions of itself.

Scientists found their creation attracted both male and female zebrafish which were drawn by movements of its mechanically operated tail.

The 15cm-long robot was spray painted with characteristic blue zebrafish stripes, and given a "smile".

Researchers hope more advanced robot fish will in future contribute to conservation and the control of pest species.

The robot, built by US and Italian scientists, had a rounded shape to mimic the look of fertile females, which are popular with male and female zebrafish alike.

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