Tired of seeing your goldfish swim in circles around its bowl? Would you be happier seeing it drive in circles? Well, now you can with Studio diip's motorized 'Fish on Wheels.'
"We came up with the idea to make something controllable by animals to show that the technology we use is so easy that even animals can benefit from it," Thomas de Wolf, of Studio diip, told TreeHugger. "We then decided that we should enable an animal to do something they previously couldn't. A logical result was to choose to enable fish to move around on land and we decided to build this vehicle."
In the design, a fish tank is attached to four sturdy wheels. Above the tank, a camera tracks the goldfish as it swims around. When the goldfish moves in one direction, so does the vehicle.
Goldfish use environmental cues to map out the space around them, so if they can see out of their water tank, they can learn to remember their surroundings.
Not everyone is a fan of the device, however. "The black shape of the camera looming over the top of the tank would be perceived by the fish as a predator, triggering stress and avoidance behavior," Pamela Raymond, a developmental neurobiologist from the University of Michigan, told us.
But de Wolf says that precautions were taken to avoid harming the goldfish. "Our own fish Michael has been with us for more than a year now, so he seems to be doing fine," he said.
Other scientists see this as an opportunity to learn more about fish.
"Although I’m not sure if goldfish can enjoy driving the vehicle, I think it’s worth developing this sort of gadget for better understanding of fish’s life," Masa Yoshida, from the National Institute of Genetics in Japan told us.
Watch Michael moving around here: