Ever since people have been keeping fish as pets they have been mostly confined to swimming around in circles inside a bowl. But thanks to Studio Diip, our aquatic friends can now roam about dry land and not be confined to the limits of their tank. By using computer vision software, Fish on Wheels is the first self-driving vehicle that can be completely steered by a fish.
The car is constructed out of a fish bowl mounted on top of a battery-powered Beagleboard and an Arduino-controlled robot. As the fish swims around the bowl, its position is determined within the tank and sends commands to the Arduino which then maneuvers the vehicle in that specific direction. Also installed on the fish-mobile is a camera, giving the term “fish-eye lens” a whole new meaning.
This invention powered by Arduino is the latest in a series of clever electronic machines developed by artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Crafty inventors have been using the open-source prototyping platform to develop all sorts of gadgets including burglar alarms, breathalyzers, musical instruments, and many more imaginative devices.
Microcontrollers have been around since the 1970s but have only recently become affordable. Much like the rise of consumer 3D printing, microcontroller technology like the Arduino has the potential to not only change the way we live, but the way we think as well. With microcontrollers, you can literally create anything you can imagine. All you need is the easy-to-use hardware, some open-source software, and a good idea.
If you’re interested in learning more about what you can do with microcontrollers, Arduino provides an excellent learning platform on their website. Among the topics discussed is a detailed description of what Arduino is and what you can do with it, step-by-step instructions on how to connect the software to Arduino, how to use the Arduino development environment, using and installing Arduino libraries, and troubleshooting advice in case things aren’t going according to plan.
You can also purchase an Arduino Starter Kit from Newegg to help you launch your creation.