Studio diip, an image recognition company based in the Netherlands, decided to use their technology to ‘liberate’ fish around the world by creating a new tank that fish can drive.
Fish are normally assumed to have only short term memory and little to no intelligence, which is reflected in the way many pet fish are treated.
Believe it or not, this is a gross misconception. According to an article on PETA entitled ‘The hidden Lives of Fish‘ (as well as many others):
“Fish and Fisheries cited more than 500 research papers on fish intelligence, proving that fish are smart, that they can use tools, and that they have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures. The introduction said that fish are ‘steeped in social intelligence … exhibiting stable cultural traditions and cooperating to inspect predators and catch food.'”
It surprises me that despite many scientific studies and reports, our view of fish is still relatively unchanged. The step forward that Studio diip took in applying their technology in order to create more mobility for fish should open our eyes to thinking differently about our watery friends.
The video shows a fish driving a prototype tank, using a webcam, a battery powered Beagleboard and an Arduino controlled robot vehicle. The location of the fish is detected using computer vision by using the contrast of the fish with the bottom of the fish tank. Once the location is determined, commands are sent to the Arduino and the motorized fish tank moves in the same direction simulating the experience of driving. This allows the fish to wander, for the first time, freely around the house.
Here are photos from Studio diip that show how they made it happen: