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The ideal "fish" for the absentee fishkeeper

By Leonard Ho - Posted Feb 18, 2014 09:00 AM
A fish that you never have to feed, that never gets sick, that never dies ... obviously does not exist. But if you're cool with an artificial substitute, these free-swimming robotic fish could be the perfect "robostock" for the disengaged aquarist.
The ideal "fish" for the absentee fishkeeper

"Smart Fish Technology" ... we never thought we'd see this phrase coined.

Aquabots (by Hexbug, a toy manufacturer known for miniature robotic bugs) are mechanized toy fish designed to swim with neutral buoyancy.  At under $15 per robot, they're a cost-effective way to entertain children who want to keep fish but don't yet have the knowledge or maturity to take care of them.  They also make fun gifts for the fish geeks.

Aquabots run on replaceable batteries and will randomly change swimming speeds as well as periodically dive and rise in the water column.  To conserve batteries, the robotic fish will shut down after five minutes of activity but have internal sensors to reactivate when Aquabots detect movements around them.  In a sterile fish bowl, this means a tap on the glass or a swirl of the water will bring the robotic fish back to life.  In a tank with powerheads or pumps, we think Aquabots might never come to rest and consequently would burn through their batteries pretty quickly.

If Hexbug made bigger and more lifelike versions of Aquabots, there may be practical application for real fishkeepers.  Imagine robotic tangs helping to diffuse aggression when introducing real tangs to a tank.

Here's the Aquabot commercial.  We warn you it's annoying!

[via Gizmodo]

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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