The world’s polluted oceans might find themselves cleaned up by a robot fish developed by Chinese scientists.
The new device “eats” microplastics that have spread across the world’s seas, according to a team from Sichuan University.
Just 1.3 centimetres in size, these robots already suck up microplastics in shallow water.
The Chinese scientists aim to enable them to collect microplastics in deeper water and provide information to analyse marine pollution in real time, said Wang Yuyan, one of the researchers who developed the robot.
“We developed such a lightweight miniaturised robot.” he said.
“It can be used in many ways, for example in biomedical or hazardous operations, such a small robot that can be localised to a part of your body to help you eliminate some disease.”
The black robot fish is irradiated by a light, helping it to flap its fins and wiggle its body.
Chinese scientists can control the fish using the light to avoid it crashing into other fish or ships.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell