View Full Version : Robotic Fish

07-26-2008, 06:14 PM
Hey everyone,

I saw this video on you tube and I thought it was awesome! It is the most realistic robotic fish I have ever seen. Most of you have probably already seen this, but I thought I should bring it up. I wonder how they manage to work this robot in water?

Here is the link:

YouTube - Robot Fish

Here is another video of of a different robotic fish.

YouTube - G8 Robotic Fish

:DThis all looks very complicated to program! Is that true?

07-26-2008, 09:57 PM
Define "complicated" - complicated like "I can't make my legos play rock paper scissors" or complicated like "we put a partially autonomous rover on the surface of Mars"

"Complicated" is a matter of perspective.

07-26-2008, 10:00 PM
did you guys see Crab Fu's robotic fish ? that one is cool

07-26-2008, 10:04 PM
Yeah, she split this out from there - hers was the last post in that thread, referencing this project.

07-26-2008, 10:50 PM
not knowing ANYTHING about programing, I can only comment on the mechanics of the motion. The fish locomotion is not that difficult to grasp, it isn't a very hard thing to visualize. But I can't imagine what it takes to make the buoyancy and waterproofing right... one simple failure or mistake, and all electronics would be ruined. Anyway, I'd imagine programing wouldn't be a difficult thing to achieve for this, but I really wouldn't know what's easy and what's not :)


07-27-2008, 08:01 AM
lol HAHA! Adrenalynn, Are you making fun of me? lol. Okay well, let me put it this way. What kind of programming language do you think this fish takes to run so well?

07-27-2008, 11:54 AM

Anyone get it?

07-27-2008, 01:45 PM
Cute, 'E!

What kind of programming language? Whatever its microcontroller wants.

It's not the language, just about any language can do just about any thing. It's the programmer using the language that's important.

07-27-2008, 04:07 PM
Ahh. Do you know how they make everything water proof. That is the one trick out of the book that I heard is really challenging. It is really cool though.

07-27-2008, 07:48 PM
I have some information on my AUV pages how I make my sub waterproof. Specifically, this page (http://www.huv.com/uSeeker/thruster/index.html) describes the thruster details...

07-28-2008, 07:42 AM
Wow! I am looking at your design, and it looks very well made. Okay, I can see how the front is water proof, but what do you use to protect the back?

07-28-2008, 08:38 AM
Well, the thing on that page is just the thruster. The prop is at the back, and the front fits into the rear end-cap of the sub, and is sealed with silicone. You can see a few pics of the sub at the top of this page (http://www.huv.com/uSeeker/gallery/index.html).

07-28-2008, 12:56 PM
Oh I see. On the very back of your device, there is a wire sticking out behind the propellers in the back. How do you keep that wire from short circuiting in the water? Or is that wire in something when you are ready to use it?

07-28-2008, 12:58 PM
Sorry, you're going to have to be a little more specific - can you point me to a picture that shows it?

07-28-2008, 01:46 PM
Insulated wire doesn't short out in water or anywhere else. That's what "insulation" is. It's the interconnects, where two wires join, that you risk a short. But there has to be ground potential too.

Also remember that water is a really crummy conductor. In fact, pure water is an INSULATOR. It's the impurities in water that conducts electricity.

07-28-2008, 01:50 PM
The thing I'm curious about is MicroSeeker doesn't have any wires that are external to the pressure housing. NanoSeeker has what looks like a couple wires, but those are just unfinished linear actuator extensions for the rudder & dive plane.

This is a picture of MicroSeeker in the water:


There is nothing behind the prop...

07-28-2008, 02:07 PM
Looks pretty enclosed to me! Is that an iPaq for brains? I should check out your site!

07-28-2008, 02:09 PM
Its actually a Dell Axim, although its dead now.

http://www.huv.com/roboMagellan for details...

07-28-2008, 02:39 PM
So Jon... Who do I have to kill to get you to write a tutorial or even series on autonomous navigation inc. GPS?

Microseeker's navigation speed approaching that wall was crazy fast! And your mission editor software? I'm still trying to reseat my jaw...

07-28-2008, 03:48 PM
You have to kill the time fairy, or at least threaten her to give me more...

Which wall are you talking about? MicroSeeker is my sub, MicroRover is the tracked vehicle. They both share a number of parts, including all the embedded processors and the main processor, as well as servos and the drive motor/thruster motor.

The mission editor software was definitely a lot of fun to write - the idea was to make it as fast and intuitive as possible. It has a lot of stuff behind the scenes that you don't see, including (my favorite) the cone cost analysis piece. That piece figures out, based on a couple simple pieces of information, what order to do the bonus cones in to minimize the overall time.

07-29-2008, 08:14 AM
wow, I had know idea that pure water is actually in insulator! So, if I drop a blow dryer in a big bath tub of pure water then nothing will happen? By the way, I would never try this lol. Or, if my body is filled with pure water instead of water with impurities, then I can touch an active wire and not be electrocuted? Also Jon, I was looking at the 5th picture and not the first picture. I assume that the first picture is your finished product. I think I was looking at the wrong picture hehe. I think it is so cool that your robot can move under water! Do you have any new projects you are working on?

Sorry for all of the questions lol. I am just a curious person, hehe and I love to learn!

07-29-2008, 08:22 AM
My current projects (which don't have anything to do with underwater robots) are MicroRaptor (http://www.bioloid.info/tiki/tiki-index.php?page=MicroRaptor) and Seeker 2x (http://www.huv.com/miniSumo/seeker2x).

07-29-2008, 08:30 AM
wow, cool! I think it is really hard to make walking robots because they are really hard to balance. I like your wheel robot. I am trying to build one now with my lego mindstorm kit. (I sound so childish saying that lol because I am in college.) Anyway, I am having a little trouble building the chassis. I have once already tryed to build my wheel robot, but it had trouble moving, and I think that had something to do with my poor design lol. I made it too complex and it was also very flimsy. Then, I tryed building it a second time, and it had trouble moving once again. I am going to keep trying untill I get it, of course, but I am not sure how to build a proper chassis. Do you have any suggestions?

Thanks everyone for your comments!

07-29-2008, 12:42 PM
Wow, check this robot fish out that botjunkie just blogged about (http://www.botjunkie.com/2008/07/29/robot-fish-looks-tasty-probably-isnt/):

YouTube - Robofish

07-29-2008, 02:06 PM
Wow Alex! Nice find! This fish totally beats the fish I was looking at. Wow, someone did a fantastic job creating the skin for this fish. I bet that was not cheap to make hehe.

07-29-2008, 02:30 PM
almost as if they took a real fish and just shoved a motor in there.. amazing..

07-29-2008, 02:40 PM
Yeah, well, top THIS!

YouTube - Singing Fish - Bad to the bones

07-29-2008, 03:32 PM
HAHA! I LOVE IT! That reminds me of that Billy Bass Fish that I used to love dancing with when I was young hehe.