Robotic Fish Sees and Mimics Live Zebrafish in Real Time

For over ten years, biomimetic robots have been deployed along with live animals to gain a better insight into the drivers of animal behavior, such as leadership, fear, social cues, and even courtship. So far, there have always been unidirectional encounters, i.e., the animals observe and react to the robots. However, in the laboratory of Maurizio Porfiri, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, the biomimetic robots can now watch back. … Leveraging the advances in robotics and real-time tracking software, Porfiri and a team of collaborators designed and tested the first closed-loop control system that features a bioinspired robotic replica which interacts in three dimensions with live zebrafish.

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