This project's funding goal was not reached on May 28, 2014.
About this project
Fish on Wheels is an aquarium on wheels that enables fish to drive wherever they want to go. Finally some freedom for our aquatic pets that have so far been limited to their fish tanks!
It’s an electric car with a fish tank on top that can be steered by a fish if it swims in a certain direction. We use a camera looking down in the fish tank to detect the fish’s position and then power the motors to steer the car in that direction. You can use Fish on Wheels as a normal aquarium and switch it on at any time to let the fish drive the aquarium around.
In February 2014 we decided to build a fish drivable car to demonstrate that computer vision technology can also be used for everyday and fun things. We recorded the movie you can find on YouTube and we were overwhelmed with all the media attention and the more than 1 million hits on YouTube. The weeks after we launched Fish on Wheels on YouTube, we received hundreds of e-mails and calls from people all over the world wanting to buy Fish on Wheels. Below is a small selection of media that featured Fish on Wheels, click on the image to see what each of them is saying about Fish on Wheels.
Because of all the positive reactions we decided to continue the project by redesigning the complete car. The new design makes sure the fish will have a good life by giving it more space, more water, plants and we stabilized the movement of the fish tank. We also improved the battery life and made the car easier to use. We have built another prototype version and tested it extensively. Now we are ready to take the final steps towards producing Fish on Wheels on a bigger scale and this is where you come in! With your support we will be able to make Fish on Wheels available for everybody.
Have you ever had the possibility to let your fish drive around on his own? It’s the most awesome aquarium you can buy for your pet fish! It uses advanced technology to enable our aquatic friends to roam the land (except when staircases are involved).
The car consists of four key components that enables the fish to drive where it wants to go: a camera, a small computer, DC motors and a battery. With help of the camera the computer determines the position of the fish in the tank. The battery powers the computer, camera and DC motors that steer and move the car.
We programmed computer vision algorithms that enabled the computer to find the position of the fish. In the image below you see how our algorithm turns the normal camera image (second panel from the left) into a binary (true black OR white) image (third panel from the left).
For the new version of Fish on Wheels we have done our best to make the aquarium as pet friendly as possible. The fish tank is big enough, you can put plants and gravel in it and the cars movements are as smooth as possible to not stress out your fish.
Early bird: If you want to get a Fish on Wheels as soon as possible, this is your best bet. You’ll be the first to have a fish drivable vehicle and you’ll get it at a good price too! The early bird version will closely resemble the other versions. We mainly want to optimise our own production and assembly and then this version is ideal to get a good idea of how to do that.
Second Tier: This version of the Fish on Wheels will be produced based on the feedback and experience of the early bird version. You’ll still be one of the first to have a Fish on Wheels at a reduced price and we have the benefit of optimising our assembly and production process.
Third Tier: This is the final Kickstarter version of the Fish on Wheels. It’ll be the most optimised version and we can produce as many of these as demanded. With this version you’ll also be getting possible upgrades with stretch goals.
Stretch Goals: We will reward backers of the third version with special features when we meet certain funding goals. For now the plan is to add the following functions, but we are of course open to suggestions from our backers to keep adding features as we go!
Reach € 70.000: Implement LED headlights that change colour when the direction changes and indicate a turn.
Reach € 150.000: We integrate LEDs to light up the fish tank in a colour of your choice. You’ll also be able to choose the colour of the car itself out of 3 options.
We need your support to be able to keep developing our last prototype into a production ready version. We need to start making the mold for production of the car and invest in tools for the assembly. We also really want to know how many people are enthusiastic about this product so we get an idea if we can take it one step further. So help us out if you like to see this product become a reality or back us to receive your very own Fish on Wheels!
Our first prototype was finished in February and since then we've worked hard on improving Fish on Wheels in many aspects. We had our 2.0 prototype ready in March and this version already had a way longer battery life, improved usability and a steady camera mount. It was however still a collection of pre made components and not ready for production. We plan to finish the Kickstarter project at the end of May and while it is running we continue development. We are planning to start delivery of the early bird version in July and follow them up with the second and third tier each a month later. Alongside the third tier we’ll also ship the special edition.
Studio diip is a company specialized in designing and developing computer vision products. Although we mainly develop these products as a service for other companies we have also successfully developed some products and prototypes of our own. In more than 3 years we have completed more than 20 projects and launched our own Bridge Card Reader product, which is able to use computer vision to recognize playing cards during bridge matches. Studio diip currently consist of 7 employees that have expertise in areas like computer vision, artificial intelligence, business strategy and product design. You can find more information about our company at www.studiodiip.com.
The team for Fish on Wheels consists of Thomas de Wolf and Guust Hilte for the idea and building the first prototype. They will also develop Fish on Wheels further for the Kickstarter project. Sandra Sastre worked on the Fish on Wheels logo, website and designed the look and feel for the Kickstarter version in sketches and 3D drawings.
Risks and challenges
Although we had many positive reaction on Fish on Wheels, we find it very difficult to estimate the amount of orders we will receive. As a company, we are experienced in product design and small scale production, however we do not have much experience in producing products in bigger numbers. Because of that the biggest risk in this project is that the manufacturing of the device is more time intensive and therefore more expensive than expected. We want to counter this risk by using a modular design such that parts of the manufacturing and assembly process can be outsourced if necessary.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, the version you see in the movie is a prototype and we only put fish in it for driving. Afterwards they go back in their normal tank with gravel, plants and lots of water.
The Kickstarter version we are now developing will have:
- Much more subtle and fluent movement to not stress the fish out
- It is bigger and can be filled up with a lot more water
- It can contain gravel and small plants
- It will come with a manual for new fish owners about how to take care of fish
Great question! Although we can not safely speak for all countries and legislations, we have not encountered any need for certification or licensing up untill now for fish to drive.
Most authorities in the area of pet mobility mention excellent driving skills for fish, like Tesla Motors: http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/pet-driving-cars
- (30 days)