Israeli research team trains goldfish to drive

Jan 11, 2022:  According to a Reuters report, after training fish to drive, Israeli researchers have discovered that goldfish have the ability to travel on land.

A team from Ben Gurion University developed a FOV – a fish-powered vehicle. The robotic car is equipped with a liDAR, a remote sensing technology that collects data on the ground location of the vehicle and the location of the fish inside the installed water tank using pulsed laser light.

A computer, camera, electric motors and omni-wheels give the fish control of the vehicle.

“Surprisingly, it doesn’t take the fish a long time to learn how to drive the vehicle. They’re confused at first. They don’t know what’s going on but they’re very quick to realise that there is a correlation between their movement and the movement of the machine that they’re in,” said researcher Shachar Givon.

Six goldfish, each taking about 10 driving lessons, took part in the study. Whenever one of them reached the target set by the researchers, he was rewarded with food. And some goldfish are better drivers than others.

Showing that a fish has the cognitive capability to navigate outside its natural environment of water can expand scientific knowledge of animals’ essential navigation skills.

“There were very good fish that were doing excellent and there were mediocre fish that showed control of the vehicle but were less proficient in driving it, we humans think of ourselves as very special and many think of fish as primitive but this is not correct,”

“There are other very important and very smart creatures.” said biology professor and neuroscientist Ronen Segev.

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