Standing in a darkened room, we perceive someone’s presence without seeing them.
The same is true for the elephant-nose fish, whose special organs discharge small voltages into the water around it, creating electric fields.
If these electric fields are disturbed by an intruder, electroreceptors on the fish’s skin raise the alarm. By swimming around the intruder, the fish can take a ‘picture’ without receiving any visual input.
Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology have created an algorithm for observing objects via electrosensory perception.
Using 1,024 electroreceptors evenly distributed on an artificial fish, the amphibious simulation was able to identify various 2D objects.
Further development could revolutionize underwater robotics, deepening our knowledge of the world’s oceans.