Scientists develop fish-like sensors – Fishupdate.com

Scientists develop fish-like sensors Published:  22 February, 2007

Professor Chang Liu

FISH use sensory organs to find prey and avoid attack; now U.S. scientists have created artificial sensors to do the same thing for underwater vehicles.

University of Illinois Professor Chang Liu said the grouping of specialised sensory organs fish use along the sides of their bodies is called their lateral line. Now, a research team led by Liu has built an artificial lateral line.

According to Science Daily, in fish, the lateral line provides guidance for synchronised swimming, predator and obstacle avoidance and prey detection and tracking. Equipped with an artificial lateral line, a submarine or underwater robot could similarly detect and track moving underwater targets and avoid collisions with other objects.

The artificial lateral line consists of an integrated linear array of micro fabricated flow sensors, with the sizes of individual sensors and spacing between them matching those of their biological counterpart.

“By detecting changes in water pressure and movement, the device can supplement sonar and vision systems in submarines and underwater robots,” said Liu.

He and colleagues at Bowling Green (Ohio) State University detailed their work in the Dec. 12 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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