If you have a question about the robotic fish or any of the aspects of shoal that isn’t answered here or elsewhere please let us know using the contact section and it might get listed here.
How do the fish work together?
The fish work together much like a group of people would work together to accomplish a task. If you were trying to accomplish a task everyone in the group knows something about the situation, through talking they are able to share information and while not everyone knows everything that is going on they are still able to accomplish the task between them. Likewise the fish do not all know the whole picture of the pollution but between them they know much more and through the communication they are able to work together.
How do the fish see?
The fish 'see' though sonar and an array of other devices to measure their position, heading, speed etc. The sonar allows them to see obstacles and get a picture of what's around them. They augment this with other data they have such as maps, Infrared and other sensors to build a bigger picture of their surroundings
Why a fish?
The choice of a robotic fish is not an aesthetic one but a design choice. The design of a robotic fish is a very manoeuvrable, efficient, low noise solution. The robotic fish have an incredibly small turning circle allowing them to navigate quickly in ports both to find pollution and avoid ships and the port infrastructure. It's also low noise so as to not disturb the environment when outside of busy ports.
Why can’t you just use the fish Essex has already developed?
The Previous Genus of fish where designed to be used in tanks, the situation in the ports I a much harsher environment and we don't want to harm our other fish!! So to deal with the currents, waves and other environmental factors we need to make the fish much more powerful and robust and those are just some of the engineering problems for us to solve so we can keep out fish safe (and the environment).
Won’t Fisherman catch the fish or people steal them?
The fish are able to detect where they are with the array of sensors they have . As soon as they are removed from the water they set off a distress beacon that alerts the port authorities who can act immediately.
Won’t they run out of Batteries?
No, the fish are able to return to a base station and autonomously charge themselves (another challenge for the AI and engineering team).
How do the Fish Talk?
The Fish will talk to each other using ultrasonic communications. Other these we can send short messages between the fish and to the base station.
How much does a Fish Cost?
The current Generation of robotic fish cost about £ 20,000-30,000, this is just for this fish and the current fish is smaller than the new generation of fish. As the project continues we will get a better estimate of the price of a fully intelligent robotic fish.
Isn’t that expensive?
No not really. Comparatively to other alternative forms of underwater UAVs it's a (excuse the pun) drop in the ocean. Also this is the cost to produce a one off prototype; if we were to make them on a commercial level we could assume this would be cheaper.
Will the Fish be Available in My country and can I buy one?
In the future, yes, right now, no. At the moment the fish are still in development and cannot be purchased anywhere. Once the prototype is more developed we will start to investigate commercial possibilities If you have any ideas or wish to contact us about commercial possibilities please use the contact page.
They Search for the pollution but then what?
If the robotic fish try to find the source of the pollution they find, as soon as they have determined the source they will immediately contact the port via the ultrasonic communications so that the port can take any appropriate measures to deal with stopping the source of the pollution.