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Autonomous Robotic Fish as Mobile Sensor Platforms: Challenges and Potential Solutions

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With advances in actuation and sensing materials and devices, there is a growing interest in developing underwater robots that propel and maneuver themselves as real fish do. Such robots, often known as robotic fish, could provide an engineering tool for understanding fish swimming. Equipped with communication capabilities and sensors, they could also serve as economical, dynamic samplers of aquatic environments. In this paper we discuss some of the major challenges in realizing adaptive, cost-effective, mobile sensor networks that are enabled by resource-constrained robotic fish. Such challenges include maneuvering in the presence of ambient disturbances, localization with adequate precision, sustained operation with minimal human interference, and cooperative control and sensing under communication constraints. We also present potential solutions and promising research directions for addressing these challenges, some of which are inspired by how fish solve similar problems.

Keywords: adaptive sampling; aquatic sensor networks; mobile sensing platforms; robotic fish; water quality monitoring

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-07-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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