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Small Robots Could Help Look After Salmon Without Stressing Them Out


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A human diver and the robots.

A study by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NUST), Estonia's Tallinn University of Technology, and the Estonian University of Life Sciences found that salmon are less intimidated by small robots than larger ones.

Credit: Taltech Centre for Biorobotics

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NUST), Estonia's Tallinn University of Technology, and the Estonian University of Life Sciences found that salmon seem to prefer small robots to larger ones, a discovery that could help guide how fish farms are automated.

Monitoring of commercial fish farms is normally done by a human diver; the team conducted a test in a sea cage in Norway to compare salmon reactions to a human diver, a commercial underwater robot called the Argus Mini, and a smaller underwater robot called U-CAT.

The researchers found that the salmon got closer to U-CAT and beat their tails slower around the small robot, compared to the other two, indicators of less disruption.

This is important, said NUST's Maarja Kruusmaa, because "the happier the fish are, the healthier the fish are, the better they eat, the better they grow, the less parasites they have, and the less they get sick."

From New Scientist
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Abstracts Copyright © 2020 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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