A team of biomedical engineers and neuroscientists trained six different fish to successfully steer the four wheeler.
The fish were placed in a small tank mounted in place of the driving seat on top of the FOV.
It accelerated, turned and stopped as the pilot fish moved it towards a pink target to earn themselves a food pellet.
The FOV has a camera, a computer, and light detection technology that track the pilot fish’s movements. Each fish was given 15 minutes to get used to it before each 30-minute trial began.
Like learner drivers, they gradually improved and even reached their destinations when targets were moved and decoy targets of different colors were added.
To avoid over-feeding the fish, each study session lasted for a maximum of 20 trials.
Shachar Givon, one of the leaders of the study at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel, said: “It hints that navigational ability is universal.”
The team set out to explore whether animals’ innate navigational abilities are universal or restricted to their natural environments, the scientists explained.
Researchers tasked six goldfish with “driving” the vehicle toward a visual target — a colorful mark on the wall of the experiment room — visible through the clear sides of the tank.