Robotic fish activities have proven to be an effective tool for teaching engineering and biology concepts to free-choice learners. The platform features a robotic fish, a pool for the robots, and iDevices to control the robotic fish. The hardware of this platform also includes a camera stand fabricated from aluminum t-slotted bars, a web camera mounted 175 cm above the water surface, and a computer for video tracking and processing. The robotic fish were designed with a three degree-of-freedom multilinked tail design for propulsion. In addition, pitch and buoyancy control systems were implemented to provide rise and dive functionality. A camera, router, and computer were also used to relay the internal communications between the robotic fish and iDevice. The protocol to enable the communication between the iDevice, computer, and robotic fish was translated at a base station, where a message was passed between the iDevice application and the base station via Wi-Fi. Future work on this platform includes the installation of the system into a permanent exhibit on display at informal science learning venues, which will allow us to expand this article to explore how visitors explore both epistemic problems (the one we set) and ludic problems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering