Aquaai Robotic Fish Provides Real-time Data From the Seas

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Parallax customer Matteo Borri is an inventor and engineer from San Rafael, California who specializes in robotics, lasers and the use of microcontrollers in environmental research. Recently, he’s been working with his client, California/Norway-based Aquaai, on a biomimetic robot controller to perform water quality analysis commissioned by the Norwegian government. Aquaai’s mission is to “Save the Seas! Build affordable systems to positively impact oceans and waterways globally.” With fish farming and the health of our oceans being an environmental concern, Aquaai is clearly doing meaningful work.

The Propeller 1 (in a Propeller FLiP Multicore Microcontroller format) is coupled with a Cortex processor, which Matteo described as a processor pairing of the “spinal column and cerebellum to the brain.” The Cortex provides the camera interface and high-level decisions and the Propeller 1 generates the pulse-width modulation (PWM) signals for lights and motors in response to joystick control, motor control signals for tail movement, and aggregates data from two sonars, an accelerometer, and temperature sensors. In the event the tether is cut the robot can surface under control of the FLiP module.

Shown below is the power conditioning for batteries, tether and motors with the FLiP module in the spinal column.

Matteo follows Parallax closely and was enthused by the recent release of the BlocklyProp system. He would like to use BlocklyProp for some of his projects but needed the local source code storage feature (which wasn’t readily available in our cloud version for source code protection. The web site for Matteo’s company is Robots Everywhere and the robotic fish producer is Aquaai.

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