(Credit: Studio Diip)
If you saw Studio Diip's Fish on Wheels in February and were sad that you couldn't go out and buy one, now's your chance to make it happen.
A fish may not need a bicycle — but it might need a tank. Not the kind that keeps the water all in the same place, obviously those are sort of necessary for any fish far from the pond, but the kind that has wheels.
Back in February, Netherlands-based Studio Diip made — and one that is steered by the fish to boot.
It used an Arduino-powered robot vehicle, a battery-powered Beagleboard and a standard webcam. The webcam sits over the top of the tank and tracks the fish's movement using the contrast between the fish and the bottom of the tank. The position of the fish in the tank is used to send commands to the Arduino microcontroller to steer the vehicle in that direction.
Fish on Wheels was originally meant to be a fun little project to show off a cool application for computer vision technology — but now, thanks to an overwhelming influx of interest, the team has decided to develop it into a full product that can be used as a fish tank when it's not being driven around as a... fish tank.
"The new design makes sure the fish will have a good life by giving it more space, more water, plants and we stabilised the movement of the fish tank," the team said in a newly launched Kickstarter campaign. "We also improved the battery life and made the car easier to use. We have built another prototype version and tested it extensively. Now we are ready to take the final steps towards producing Fish on Wheels on a bigger scale."
Giving your guppy a bit more mobility doesn't come cheap, though. The team will be producing three versions of the tank. The first will be the early bird version, where the team works out production and assembly. The second will be refined based on feedback from the early bird version. The third version will be the final production model.
For the first version, you're looking at a pledge of €199 — around AU$296 — plus €20 shipping. The second version comes in at €229 (AU$340) and the third at €249 (AU$370). Head on over to the Kickstarter page for more information or to pledge your support.