Watch out for fish vehicles


Scientists announced this week that they had learned to lead a goldfish. For some reason, this is being hailed as good news.

“We trained the goldfish to use a Fish Vehicle (FOV), a wheeled land platform that reacts to the movement characteristics, location and orientation of the fish in its water tank to change that of the vehicle; that is, the position of the water reservoir in the arena, ”the scientists wrote in the journal Behavioral Brain Research. “The fish were tasked with ‘driving’ the FOV to a visual target in the terrestrial environment, which was observable through the walls of the tank, and were effectively able to operate the vehicle, explore the new environment, and reach the target independently. from the starting point, while avoiding dead ends and correcting location inaccuracies.

OK, so goldfish is a slight improvement over an Uber driver, so what?

Tim rowland

The fish, thanks to some kind of technology that I don’t have a prayer of understanding, were able to guide their jar to a target that when hit would reward them with a food pellet – the same principle that a video player gets to a taco bell.

So how do you know if you’re behind a goldfish or someone from Boston? Goldfish use their flasher more often. But seriously.

“The study suggests that the ability to navigate is universal rather than specific to the environment,” the scientists continued. “This shows that goldfish have the cognitive ability to learn a complex task in a completely different environment from the one in which they evolved.”

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It doesn’t sound like news to me. Goldfish must eat, right? I don’t know why he wouldn’t swim for food. I don’t even know for sure if the fish figured out that they were in a FOV, or for that matter that the water stopped at the edge of the tank.

On the contrary, it proves that the goldfish are smarter than the ancient sailors who thought they would fall off the edge of the earth if they got too close. At the risk of being called a moron, I hesitate to attack scientists, but despite what they say, fish do not really leave their environment.

And please, it’s not “driving”. He uses the same form of locomotion that he has always used. He doesn’t have a Chevy 69 with a 396, Fuelie heads, and a Hurst on the ground. He has a fish bowl. All of this proves that fish have the ability to eat while being observed by a group of people in white coats. I’m not sure I can do this. Fish may think, well, that’s different, but swimming to the food, getting the food. Even a bivalve could understand this.

But maybe I’m unfair to the fish. Maybe it doesn’t work both ways. If, for example, you put a coyote in a submarine, would it be able to make its way to a rotting deer carcass?

But beyond all that, if the country’s highways are any indication, scientists should find a way to reduce the number of drivers on the road, no more. Because of course the goldfish is only looking for a pellet of food now, but give it six months and it will pull out a .357 and open fire on the trout that just cut it at the exit ramp.

And we have enough problems with the HOV path, what do we do if they add a FOV?

None of the articles say what kind of practical application this might have. It doesn’t help the human race – the fish won’t be hired by Drizly anytime soon.

But keep going, scientists, keep teaching fish to drive. It’s not like we have a pandemic or something bigger that you could work on.

And all of you goldfish, continue too. It is good to know that there is no mountain that you cannot climb.

Tim Rowland is a columnist for the Herald-Mail.

This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Tim Rowland: Goldfish can drive. Is this a good development?


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