Amazon electric fish inspire underwater robotics
16 February 2014 Last updated at 01:12 GMT
Electric fish from South America are opening up new ideas in robotics. Ghost knifefish, as they are known, put a small current through the water to sense their environment, and undulate a long fin to move around.
Scientists at Northwestern University in the US believe both features could be harnessed in a new class of autonomous underwater vehicle.
They are developing robots that will be able to swim around debris in total darkness, such as inside a sunken ship.
Professor and bioengineer Malcolm MacIver explains what the research aims to achieve.