NUAMPS Builds Online Lab, Brings Robotic Fish to the People

If you’ve never seen a robotic fish before, Malcolm MacIver invites you to visit his lab. It is here that MacIver, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, and Department of Neurobiology & Physiology, endeavors to understand the principles that make animals work, and he recently teamed with NUAMPS to bring his lab to the public through a virtual reality, user-controlled tour.

Professor MacIver is interested in how animals acquire energy. “While many of the most interesting challenges are in the realm of understanding the nervous system, we firmly believe that we can only understand the nervous system when we pay rigorous attention to the mechanical and behavioral sides of the issue, and we design our behavioral experiments with regard to what we know about an animal’s ecology,” says MacIver.

So he studies electric fish and even creates some fish of his own. Now through Quicktime VR technology, NUAMPS provides a digital environment where visitors can experience the workings of Professor MacIver’s lab. Online visitors can tour the lab by moving through the space via an interactive map which links them to Quicktime virtual reality models. Inside each VR, a user may click on points of interest for more information and media such as video of experiments conducted in the lab.

The lab can be visted at