Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects


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26 Responses to “Lifelike robo-fish at Tokyo Toy Fair”

  1. Digilante says:

    Mr Philip K. Dick described this rather well in 1968. Depressing.

  2. Cowicide says:

    Which plane of Hell is that soundtrack from?

  3. When the battery dies, does it float to the top, belly-up?

  4. daev says:

    OK, score another for the Japanese on the cool toy front. Make those solar powered (keep a UV light on the tank) and these things would be perfect.

  5. theophrastvs says:

    I was hoping one of you commenter-geniuses would explain how random fin activity might produce apparent random buoyancy (assuming the toy lacks tiny ballast tanks); but so far you-all have proved a disappointment [finger-wag]

    • The Tim says:

      They appear to be slightly lighter than water but also front-heavy, which causes them to point slightly downward.  Thus, when the fin flaps, the fish dives deeper into the water, but when the fin-flapping subsides, the fish rises.

      That’s my guess anyway.

  6. JoshP says:

    Anyone else get the chills from these?  Yeah, I think they’re brilliant, yeah, I’d buy them.   But they do trip my piscine uncanny valley spot.   

  7. robuluz says:

    Wow, these will be great for the “split second after I passed 20,000 volts through my pond” display I’m working on. That kind of involuntary twitching death throe is very hard to reproduce.

  8. jenjen says:

    I cannot even imagine how much fun the Tokyo Toy Fair must be. 

  9. Gorgonaut says:

    Ah, this reminds me of Red Dwarf…

  10. TheMudshark says:

    I want this, but with little sharks instead of clownfish.

  11. Did they film that with a steady-cam?

    Was like a cross between a mobile-phone cam and a hollywood blockbuster.

  12. David Kopelman says:

    Ok, so what I need right now is a robot version of me to go to work and do my job. He will be a compliant, hard working team player who does not complain. Meanwhile I can stay home and read stupid blogs all day. Wait a minute, I think I actually do that at work all day anyway. That means…..I AM ROBOT! I have trapped myself in my own vortex of truth.
    Oh no.

  13. G Cardenas says:

    Sweet.

  14. omems says:

    I get the feeling these “life-like” creatures are made procedurally (via genetic algorithm, no doubt) by an AI that really has no idea what “life” looks like.
    Either that, or  it’s like in UHF when the blind man is trying to solve the Rubik’s cube:
    Is that it?
    No.
    How ’bout now?
    No…

    (can’t find the original clip but this might jog your non-robotic memory: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozzg3BEYn1Y)

  15. robcat2075 says:

    For the person who doesn’t have time to feed fish but does have time to replace a half dozen batteries every couple of hours.

  16. These would be fun as fishing lures.

  17. Dlo Burns says:

    I’m waiting for the licensed Finding Nemo versions

  18. SheikYerbouti says:

    Um, aren’t those MERCURY batteries?  Oh the tragic irony. 

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