Can you imagine that a fish can actually drive a car? That’s pretty amusing to imagine. However, Israeli scientists have been successful in training a goldfish to drive a ‘fish operated vehicle’. The experiment was designed to test animals’ understanding and behaviour.
A new video, which is being widely circulated on social media, shows a goldfish driving a tiny water-filled motorised robotic car on the road.
A study published in the Behavioural Brain Research Journal from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba city of Israel demonstrates that fishes can decide their direction even if they are facing adverse conditions. However, this is the first time when a fish has operated a robotic vehicle.
In this study, researchers at Gurion University designed and developed a robotic aquarium with motors mounted to move it. This robotic vehicle contained two parts— an upper tank where the goldfish was put into by filling water and a lower sensor. The lidar, camera and computer were all connected to each other so that wherever the fish turned its head and start swimming towards the corners of the robotic tank it will start moving in the same direction. However, whenever the fish made any inward movement, no motion occurred.
During the study, six goldfish were trained to pilot the fish operated vehicle. “Training was the easiest part. I simply put it in a situation where it learns what is going on around it,” Shachar Givon, a doctoral student at Ben-Gurion University was quoted as saying by LiveSciene.
As a result of this new discovery, scientists hope that studying these animals will help them understand how marine animals might be able to survive on land in the future given that their habitats are going down due to climate change and pollution.
Scientists want to better understand the navigation system of organisms. In order to do this, they released a goldfish into an empty room with food and observed its behaviour on video. The fish eventually reached the target after travelling through different paths – sometimes getting confused as it went along – but took roughly two minutes to complete the journey.