In a rather interesting turn of events, scientists have just released a robotic fish, which appears to be able to influence the behavior of other fish in the aquarium.

This “Robofish” has produced some rather interesting results in testing. Not only was it able to get three-spined sticklebacks to join its group, but it also seems to be able to influence their movements about the aquarium.

This amazing innovation was created by John Dyer, Dean Walters, and Natalie Holt, by utilizing a plaster mould and of a stickleback, and then spruced up with authentic patterns and coloring.

The Robofish is guided by pulleys and magnets located underneath the aquarium. This effectively allows the Robofish to move about in programmed patterns. In preliminary testing, Jolyon Faria and some other team members managed to get the Robofish to lead a wild stickleback away from its hiding place and then execute a right-angled turn.

It is awe inspiring to say the least. This is the first time that a robotic fish has managed to have an effect on its natural counter-parts. It is interesting to note that large groups of stickleback were less likely to follow the Robofish, but lone stickleback seemed ready to accept the leadership offered by the creation. It is not known why the Robofish would have a greater effect on lone sticklebacks as opposed to groups, but it is assumed that the lone sticklebacks took comfort in the assertiveness of the Robofish.

More research is needed, however Robofish could have some rather interesting applications in the world today.