Skip to main content

Robotic fish monitor water quality

Robotic fish

We look to our doctors for early detection of health problems. But to whom should we turn when it comes to monitoring the health of our water supplies? One answer: robotic fish being created and tested by a dynamic duo of MSU researchers.

Engineering assistant professor Xiaobo Tan and zoology assistant professor Elena Litchman are working to develop schools of robotic fish that communicate wirelessly to provide researchers and resource managers with a steady flow of water quality data. The fish will carry sensors that record temperature and oxygen levels and detect pollutants to provide a more consistent level of data collection than has previously been possible.

The fish could play an important role in Great Lakes restoration efforts—a high-priority component of MSU’s comprehensive commitment to understanding, protecting, and restoring water resources and their sustainable use—and promises to bring environmental monitoring to a whole new level.

Watch Xiaobo Tan and Elena Litchman and hear them talk about how they hatched the idea for the robotic fish and their role in monitoring water quality.

Featured Stories

Robofish Grace monitors waters

Robofish Grace monitors waters

Protecting endangered tapirs

Protecting endangered tapirs

Improving farming in Africa

Improving farming in Africa

Getting the most out of soybeans

Getting the most out of soybeans

New biofuel process produces more energy

New biofuel process produces more energy

Turning waste into energy

Turning waste into energy

View All Stories
Find more resources, programs and projects

You can make a difference with our BE SPARTAN GREEN campus sustainability initative