The robot fish designed by the Korean company AIRO manoeuvre and swim almost the same as real fish. We spoke to AIRO’s president Oh Dragon about their MIRO robot fish.
Swims like a real fish
“There are many types of robots for air, land or marine use,” says Oh Dragon, “but the majority of underwater robots are mainly for industrial purposes or scientific research. We saw a business opportunity and designed the first underwater robot for commercial use. The MIRO is a bio-mimetic robot that swims like a real fish, thanks to two jointed units with dual motors. It uses four infrared distance measurement sensors to detect obstacles and can swim up, down, left or right.” According to Oh Dragon, the fish can be operated by remote control or swim in autonomous mode with more than 50 different types of swimming patterns. “With a fully charged battery, the MIRO could swim non-stop for twelve hours.”
Multiple swimming patterns
Over the last two years, AIRO has focused mainly on the Asian markets such as China, Japan and Singapore. However, other markets, such as the US, Europe and the Middle East have also shown great interest in MIRO. “We have produced culturally preferred designs, multiple swimming patterns and display techniques to provide specific products for each target market. AIRO can also change the fish’s shape and appearance to suit customer demand. We use a 3D modelling programme to produce various types of skins to mimic fish such as carp, arowana, shark, etc. Similarly, we can also print unlimited patterns on the skins to order. Currently, we have pproximately 200 different standard patterns, but the options are not just limited to the outer design. One of our most popular models is the MIRO Luminous, which is equipped with several LEDs that can create multiple visual effects.”
According to Oh Dragon, the MIRO is still an on-going project. “In a sense, we are always selling a prototype because we work on improving our products every day. We’re also developing a smaller MIRO version to swim with smaller aquarium fish.” Lee Kang Jae does not believe that the MIRO will replace all live aquarium fish in the future. “We just hope to provide people with things that living fish cannot do. For example, we could provide “performances” or formation swimming by controlling the MIRO with special software. This is impossible with real fish, of course. Despite these special features, I think it will take quite a long time for bio-mimetic, lifelike dog or cat robots to be widely used by pet lovers.”
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