Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s Lab-on-a-Fish is a wireless, miniaturized underwater technology system that provides real-time monitoring of fish and small aquatic species in marine, freshwater and estuarine habitats. The PNNL technology is the first in the world to combine edge computing with wireless acoustic sensing to assess animal behavior (acceleration and gyration); physiology (electrocardiogram and electromyogram); and environment (temperature, pressure, and magnetic sensor). Lab-on-a-Fish allows correlations to be made about the behavior, physiology and environmental parameters of tagged animals to study underlying biological processes. By using a wide array of sensors, ecologists can study small species for longer durations— something that has not been possible with other technologies.
The technology is already being modified and leveraged for use with other animals, including birds and bats, to mitigate wildlife interactions with wind turbines. In the future, Lab-on-a-Fish could be used as a proofing ground for human health monitoring, which could open new, preventive and diagnostic care for humans.