Goldfish acquires driving skills using LiDAR

Israeli researchers have discovered that goldfish are capable of terrestrial navigation after teaching them to drive LiDAR-equipped robotic vehicles.

James Davis

An FOV, or fish-operated vehicle, was constructed by the researchers at Ben-Gurion University. The robotic vehicle is equipped with lidar, a remote sensing system that employs pulsed laser light to gather information on the location of the vehicle on the ground and the whereabouts of the fish inside a mounted water tank.

The fish can maneuver the car thanks to omni-wheels, an omni-computer, a camera, and electric motors.
According to researcher Shachar Givon, “surprisingly, it doesn’t take the fish a long time to learn how to drive the vehicle. They’re confused at first. They don’t know what’s going on, but they’re very quick to realise that there is a correlation between their movement and the movement of the machine that they’re in.”

Each of the six goldfish participating in the study received about ten driving lessons. One of them was given food each time it met a goal established by the researchers.

The study also showed that some goldfish have greater driving skills than others.

Biology professor and neurologist Ronen Segev said  “there were very good fish that were doing excellent and there were mediocre fish that showed control of the vehicle but were less proficient in driving it.”

Science can learn more about the critical navigational abilities of animals by demonstrating that a fish is cognitively capable of navigating outside of its normal environment of water.

According to Segev, “We humans think of ourselves as very special and many think of fish as primitive, but this is not correct,” (...) “There are other very important and very smart creatures.”

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Goldfish learns to drive lidar-equipped vehicle
Goldfish are capable of navigating on land, Israeli researchers have found, after training fish to drive.