Here at Car and Driver, we bring you not only the latest automotive news and reviews, but the full gamut of wheeled endeavor. We do so until we sweat, and then we do it again and again. Yet today we found that we have been derelict in our duty, possibly after realizing a lack of sweat on ourselves. Our coverage of piscine drivers has been completely lacking, while the future-positive heads over at the BoingBoing website have been on this particular tip for three years now. The magic of accidental internet discovery hath brought it to our attention and, now, to yours.
BoingBoing’s latest discovery is of, essentially, a child-size motorized wheelchair with an aquarium (ahem) perched on top, following a previous more to-scale (scale, get it?) RC car–based contraption. Swimmingly, the basic tech is the same: A camera takes video of the fish from above, and machine-vision software monitors the creature’s movement, which is then translated into vehicular-control commands that are given to the wheelchair thing.
With a sort of autonomy not known to sea-dwelling animals outside the world’s oceans, a goldfish could conceivably range far and wide across terra firma, at least until his vehicle’s batteries deplete themselves. While the motoring-goldfish thing seems cute and harmless, it’s only a matter of time until somebody figures out how to put a great white shark on wheels. We think we’d rather not be anywhere in the vicinity of that—although we imagine Udo Dirkschneider, heavy metal’s tiny Teutonic titan, would be quite pleased at the development. Either him or Dr. Evil, who surely has a set of killer lasers at the ready for mounting on the shark’s head. Either way, you can watch the directionally challenged fish taking a cruise below.