Stefano Marras and Maurizio Porfiri of the Polytechnic Institute of New York University created a robotic fish to study the dynamics of fish schooling. Although the robofish was twice the size of a real Golden shiner, it nonetheless mimicked its movements.
Their work was published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface Feb. 22. They found that the advantages to a new leader were making it easier to access mates while avoiding predators. They also found that the technology could increase competition for mates and food, and perhaps spread disease more often.