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How To Drive A Tank
February 11, 2014 3:28 PM   Subscribe

Fish on Wheels, a short video in which a goldfish drives around the room.
posted by zamboni (20 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's starting!
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 3:33 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Dunno if the goldfish is getting much out of it or not, but "move in the direction I'm swimming" seems pretty optimal for a piscine user interface.
posted by figurant at 3:40 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


The big question to my mind is: is the fish controlling the cart deliberately, or is it just functioning as a random number generator? The clips shown here don't do much to suggest purposeful behavior on the fish's part, except for one thing: the fish tends to stay at the front of the cart and face forward. But even that could possibly be a reaction to the cart's motion. Fish tend to instinctively face into the current.
posted by baf at 3:41 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


(If the cart is moving at a constant speed there wouldn't be any current. Even as it accelerates, there would just be more sloshing than a flow of water that the fish would feel as a current.)

There's also the fact that the fish doesn't spend half its time banging against walls or other obstacles. But that could also be editing.
posted by BrashTech at 3:44 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Put some dolphins in swimtanks like this and they might take over the world. Probably for the best, given how we're treating it these days.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:45 PM on February 11


Underneath the dainty coffee shop music I can almost hear a fish going, "Yaah, holy shit, I'm going to swim-- aaaaaaaaaaa, whoa, omg, oh no, oh no, it's going again, yahhh......."
posted by crapmatic at 3:47 PM on February 11 [2 favorites]


You will be very happy *campers*. Do not be *terrified*.
posted by ckape at 3:48 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Given their other videos, I guess I'm willing to believe that they actually tried instead of just faking the whole thing with a remote control. And I guess I'll take their word for it that it's actually sort of doing what it's supposed to. But the video sure doesn't show that very well.
posted by aubilenon at 3:54 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


If the cart is moving at a constant speed there wouldn't be any current.

But would the fish know that? Fish detect the direction of the current visually. (After all, they can't feel a constant current if they're drifting with it, any more than you or I can feel the motion of the Earth.) So if a fish is in a moving cart and can see the cart's surroundings, it should notice that it's drifting in the direction of the cart's movement and correct for that.

But then, come to think of it, that would tend to make the fish face the back of the cart, wouldn't it? It it's trying to correct for the direction that the imagined current is taking it, then it would try to counteract the cart's motion. So the fact that the fish is facing the front definitely makes it seem like purposeful behavior.
posted by baf at 4:14 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


a short video in which a goldfish drives around the room.

a short video in which a goldfish goes into town for smokes.

a short video in which a goldfish slumps at a bar, flicking peanuts.

a short video in which a goldfish breaks a tackle and heads for the end zone.

a short video in which a goldfish admits to past marital discretions while in office.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:18 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


This made me absurdly happy.
posted by susiswimmer at 4:47 PM on February 11


Needs more cat.
posted by lagomorphius at 5:09 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


One way to test if the fish is really any kind of an active agent in this thing is to introduce a cat into the room.
posted by notyou at 5:10 PM on February 11


Its like scuba gear for fish....
posted by Nanukthedog at 5:19 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Its like scuba gear for fish

Except above-water. SCABA.
posted by aubilenon at 5:25 PM on February 11 [3 favorites]


"Why yes, I need a bicycle too." -- Goldfish
posted by Devils Slide at 5:33 PM on February 11 [6 favorites]


Fish detect the direction of the current visually. (After all, they can't feel a constant current if they're drifting with it, any more than you or I can feel the motion of the Earth.)

Huh? It's really super easy to assess the direction of a current by feel. It's not analogous to the motion of the earth at all; it's like wind.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:31 PM on February 11


Huh? It's really super easy to assess the direction of a current by feel. It's not analogous to the motion of the earth at all; it's like wind.

It's easy to detect the difference between your speed and the water's speed, but if you're floating in the water, that difference will be zero, because you'll flow downstream with the rest of the water. You would however notice if the current changes.
posted by aubilenon at 7:20 PM on February 11


And you'll immediately notice resistance if you swim in any other direction.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:24 PM on February 11


You'll only notice that that it's harder to move upstream if you're gauging your progress against the shore. If you want to get away from your friend who just peed in the river, it will be equally easy to swim 100ft upstream of them as 100ft downstream.
posted by aubilenon at 7:44 PM on February 11 [1 favorite]


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