RoboFish: increased acceptance of interactive robotic fish with realistic eyes and natural motion patterns by live Trinidadian guppies

Bioinspir Biomim. 2016 Jan 12;11(1):015001. doi: 10.1088/1748-3190/11/1/015001.


In recent years, simple biomimetic robots have been increasingly used in biological studies to investigate social behavior, for example collective movement. Nevertheless, a big challenge in developing biomimetic robots is the acceptance of the robotic agents by live animals. In this contribution, we describe our recent advances with regard to the acceptance of our biomimetic RoboFish by live Trinidadian guppies (Poecilia reticulata). We provide a detailed technical description of the RoboFish system and show the effect of different appearance, motion patterns and interaction modes on the acceptance of the artificial fish replica. Our results indicate that realistic eye dummies along with natural motion patterns significantly improve the acceptance level of the RoboFish. Through the interactive behaviors, our system can be adjusted to imitate different individual characteristics of live animals, which further increases the bandwidth of possible applications of our RoboFish for the study of animal behavior.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomimetics / instrumentation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Man-Machine Systems*
  • Movement
  • Ocular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Poecilia / physiology*
  • Psychological Distance*
  • Robotics / instrumentation*
  • Swimming / physiology
  • Trinidad and Tobago