Interacting with zebrafish using robotic agents

Identifying the communication channels inside a society of zebrafish could allow scientists to trigger specific behaviors on the animals to tests for instance the effect of a drug or a genetic mutation. We propose a robotic system to integrate the zebrafish shoal in a non-invasive way, in order to be accepted by the animals and influence their behavior. This system is composed of two parts: a mobile robot that can reach speed of 50 cms-1 and acceleration of 2 m/s2 which are typical for the zebrafish and a lure, magnetically coupled with the mobile robot, moving inside an aquarium and directly in contact with the fish. Moreover the robot does not need batteries, getting continuous power supply by brushes used to retrieve the power from conductive plates above and under the robot. This allows us to run long time experiments with multiple robots. The robotic device has been tested with group of fish evolving together in an experimental tank for several hours. This innovative system offers a new approach for social behavior studies of the zebrafish and other species of small fish.

Presented at:
8th annual Swiss zebrafish meeting, Fribourg, Switzerland, April 10, 2015

 Record created 2015-04-13, last modified 2018-01-28

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