A group of researchers from the Sichuan University in Southwest China has come up with a mechanized fish that could consume microplastics, paving the way for the world’s cleaner oceans.

At only 1.3 centimeters (0.5 inches), the small but soft robots can swim across shallow waters and leave the place a little cleaner than it used to. But it is only a baby step toward the scientist’s bigger goal of going into the deeper ocean to collect microplastics and even gather actual data on marine pollution, per researcher Wang Yuan.

With the potential to become even smaller—small enough to enter the human body—scientists are looking into the possibility of using the technology for biomedical reasons, such that certain diseases can be removed.

Credit: Reuters

Powered by the irradiation caused by the exposure to light, the black robot fish can wiggle its body and flap its fins to navigate across waters. It can also be controlled using light, giving it a direction away from common ocean-based obstacles, like fish and ships.

For its size, there is a possibility of the robotic fish being eaten by a larger fish. But Wang dismisses the worry by saying that it can be consumed, given its polyurethane structure.

Source: Reuters

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