A shoal of robotic fish which can detect pollution in the water are set to released into the sea off Spain, British scientists said Thursday.
The fish, which are some 1.5 metres long and resemble carp, will be fitted with detectors which can identify the sources of pollution, such as ship fuel or chemicals in the water.
Five of the robots, worth some 20,000 pounds (21,000 euros, 29,000 dollars) each, are being released into the Bay of Biscay at Gijon in northern Spain as part of a three-year joint project between engineering consultancy BMT Group and researchers at Essex University in southeast England.
The robots, which have an eight-hour battery and do not require remote control, are set to be released in around 18 months' time.
"The hope is that this will prevent potentially hazardous discharges at sea as the leak would undoubtedly get worse over time if not located," said Professor Huosheng Hu of Essex University, whose team is building the fish.
If successful, they hope the fish could be used around the world to prevent the spread of pollution.
(c) 2009 AFP
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