Salmon in captivity are not afraid of robocracy

Norwegian scientists have found that ramacharaka in the observation of underwater fish at a salmon farm compares favorably with other robots and researcher-human. To do this, they analyzed the behavior of fishes near a robot turtle U-CAT underwater robot research Argus Mini and a professional diver. To robocraft salmon swam much closer, and in her presence is also less wagged his tail, indicating a more relaxed behavior. Article published in the journal Royal Society Open Science.

Of all the ways to observe animals in the wild robots have the most advantages. First, they can be equipped with all the necessary sensors and trackers and manage them remotely, without disturbing the normal life of animals. Secondly, their design can be made such that they really blends nicely with the environment. The latter, however, can be not so simple: even in the case when the robot is virtually indistinguishable in appearance from a real animal, it can be scared just as people-researchers, and in this case their use makes little sense.

To see how robots and other methods of observation in their natural habitat react to the colony of salmon, decided scientists under the leadership of Maria Crusty (Maarja Kruusmaa) from the Norwegian Institute of science and technology. Their research, they conducted underwater salmon farm: in her 14 cells are about 188 thousand salmon, and about the thousands of fish-sweepers of pinegrove (Cyclopterus lumpus).

For observation, the researchers used two robots. The first is an Autonomous ramacharaka U-CAT, which in 2013 presented by the European engineers, it was originally designed to explore the remains of shipwrecks. A robot equipped with a camera and four fins that allow him to successfully maneuver under water, avoiding obstacles. In addition, it is quite small with the fins is about 60 inches in length and weighs 18 pounds.

The second robot is a small research station , the Argus Minialso equipped with a camera. For its size, this underwater robot is much more U-CAT: its length is 90 centimeters and weighs 90 kilograms, although still considered a small research to the underwater robot. Argus Mini also equipped with a camera and six motors, and as ramacharaka, remote controlled.

In addition to the robot to watch the fish descended a professional diver and researcher with a camera. As the behavioral characteristics of the fish, the researchers assessed the minimum distance between individuals and the robot (or diver) and the frequency of the strokes of the tail. The latter figure directly reflects the stress response of fish: the higher the number of tail beats per minute, the faster the fish tries to escape. To monitor both indicators scientists found cells near the camera — in addition to those, which were equipped with robots and divers.

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