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8 animals helping humans save the planet

By: Sidney Stevens on Nov. 18, 2011, 8:37 a.m.
The G-9 robotic fish constructed by the Essex Robotics team

Photo: Essex Robotics

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Robotic fish

Dr. Huosheng Hu and his team of researchers at Essex University in the U.K. have developed a robotic fish, outfitted with sophisticated sensors that can be used to hunt for ocean pollutants. A shoal of these surprisingly lifelike robo-fish (watch one swimming here) will be launched off the coast of Spain later this year to collect and transmit water pollution data. The researchers also hope to use the fish, made to resemble carp, for toxin surveillance off the coast of Wales. On a similar front, a scientist at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University has developed a robotic fish that may one day shepherd schools of real fish from hazards, such as oil spills and underwater turbines.