robofishFirst we invented the wheel. Humans built the pyramids. Then we moved up to automobiles, artificial hearts and sneakers with lights in them and now British scientists have created the robot fish. Five of these carp-shaped cyborg fish will be used to monitor pollution in the northern Spanish port of Gijon.

Much like your laptop in a Starbucks, the cyber-fish will use Wi-Fi technology to transmit information back to researchers. Chemical sensors will sniff out hazardous pollutants, such as leaks from underwater pipelines.

Earlier versions required human controls, like traditional mini-exploration submarines, but these new and improved fish navigate independently. At a mere $29,000 apiece and measuring nearly 5 feet long, they’re highly energy efficient and can swim around and analyze water pollution for hours on end. Plus they look cool!

Reminds of the United States Navy using dolphins to detect explosive mines in the ocean, but I have question. Are they too real looking? I watch a lot of Animal Planet and these robots look a lot like a tropical fish and fish get eaten all the time. It’d certainly be a killjoy if a mako shark snapped up a $29,000 investment. Maybe they should be outfitted with torpedoes too.

Via Reuters.