Research: Robotic Fish Exhibit
This 2014 exhibit was part of a Communicating Research to Public Audiences (CRPA) project supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in relation to NYU Poly's Prof. Maurizio Porfiri's CAREER grant on robotic fish. This project was specifically aimed at promoting public understanding of and engagement with STEM through an interactive exhibit at the interface of underwater robotics and marine science. Within the 300 gallon aquarium, this exhibit featured a shoal of robotic fish remotely controlled by the Apple iPad to attract and engage local visitors. This program put kids and adults behind the wheel of robotic fish that can swim alone, school in groups, and compete with each other.
The shape of the robotic fish takes inspiration from a scup (porgy), Stenotomus chrysops, primarily found in the Atlantic Ocean. The robotic fish incorporates a multi-link, three-degrees-of-freedom tail, pitch control system, and buoyancy control system to enable three-dimensional underwater locomotion. In addition to the hardware developments, an iPad application with three modes of operation to control the fish was created.