Alum Xiaobo Tan developing robotic fish to 'stalk' real fish in the Great Lakes

Alum Xiaobo Tan developing robotic fish to 'stalk' real fish in the Great Lakes

ECE/ISR alumnus Xiaobo Tan, an associate professor at Michigan State University, is developing a new robotic fish to “stalk” fish of interest in the Great Lakes.

The “Grace” robot, (short for Gliding Robot ACE), is a hybrid of an underwater glider and a robotic fish, and is both energy-efficient and highly maneuverable. It will be equipped with receivers that will detect the presence of fish implanted with acoustic-transmitting tags.

Grace will track the movements of lake trout, walleye and lake sturgeon to identify important habitats, understand why they move from one place to another, and how they are being affected by invasive species such as sea lampreys.

“Basically the robots will form an equivalent of a GPS satellite network underwater, to localize and follow tagged fish in their vicinity,” Tan says.

Tan earned his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering in 2002 and was advised by Professor John Baras (ECE/ISR) and Professor P. S. Krishnaprasad (ECE/ISR).

Tan is also working with Associate Professor Derek Paley (AE/ISR); Associate Professor Sean Humbert (AE); and Professor Sheryl Coombs of Bowling Green State University on bio-inspired flow sensing and control for autonomous underwater vehicles. The goal is to create an autonomous underwater vehicle that can find stationary objects by changes in water flow, and can also work in groups.

In September, Tan returned to Maryland to give a Maryland Robotics Center Lockheed Martin Robotics Seminar on “(Gliding) Robotic Fish: Swim or Not Swim.” You can watch the video of his presentation here.

| Read the story at the MSU website |

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September 29, 2014


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