Skip to main content

Moai is like a Roomba for your fish tank that also live-streams underwater video

Like a Roomba vacuum cleaner for your aquarium, Moai is a glass-cleaning robot that will autonomously propel itself around your fish tank, scouring algae as it goes. Oh, and it can also live-stream video of your fish while it’s at it.

“I had a small aquarium in my studio,” Moai industrial designer Yoon Hoon told Digital Trends. “The original idea was a webcam for aquariums, so you can monitor your aquarium while not at home. My partner and I came across the HAX hardware accelerator booth in MakerFaire Shenzhen and joined it in January 2015. They helped us develop the concept. We found that algae build-up is a pain point for most aquarium owners, and so decided to combine camera and cleaner together. The concept was born! We then spent two years traveling and visiting many aquariums in China, California, and Singapore to learn more about the aquarium industry while working on our prototypes in the factory. It took eight generations of prototypes but we’re finally satisfied, and pleased to have launched MOAI on Kickstarter.”

The device itself consists of two elements: One housing all the electronics for outside the tank and the other, with the cleaning element, for inside. These are connected by a magnet, so that as the outside part moves using its ultrasound navigation system, the inside part of your tank glass gets cleaned. The robot itself uses smart ultrasound sensing tech to map its way around the aquarium, while users can use the accompanying iOS or Android mobile app to mark out specific cleaning areas if they wish. This also means that you can set specific times for cleaning to take place, such as when you’re out at work — so your aquarium is ready to look its best whenever you’re around.

The camera offers 1080p filming, which then outputs an image to the same app, meaning that you can check in on your fishy friends no matter where you are in the world. It’s a nifty smart gadget and, provided it works as well as described, is totally something we could see ourselves using in our own fish tanks. Hey, pair this up with Fishbit — the smart device designed to monitor tank pH levels, salinity, ORP, temperature, and other tank conditions — and you’ve got yourself an entire robot aquarium ecosystem.

Moai is available to pre-order on Kickstarter for $199, with shipping set to take place next May.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Digital Trends’ Tech For Change CES 2023 Awards
Digital Trends CES 2023 Tech For Change Award Winners Feature

CES is more than just a neon-drenched show-and-tell session for the world’s biggest tech manufacturers. More and more, it’s also a place where companies showcase innovations that could truly make the world a better place — and at CES 2023, this type of tech was on full display. We saw everything from accessibility-minded PS5 controllers to pedal-powered smart desks. But of all the amazing innovations on display this year, these three impressed us the most:

Samsung's Relumino Mode
Across the globe, roughly 300 million people suffer from moderate to severe vision loss, and generally speaking, most TVs don’t take that into account. So in an effort to make television more accessible and enjoyable for those millions of people suffering from impaired vision, Samsung is adding a new picture mode to many of its new TVs.
[CES 2023] Relumino Mode: Innovation for every need | Samsung
Relumino Mode, as it’s called, works by adding a bunch of different visual filters to the picture simultaneously. Outlines of people and objects on screen are highlighted, the contrast and brightness of the overall picture are cranked up, and extra sharpness is applied to everything. The resulting video would likely look strange to people with normal vision, but for folks with low vision, it should look clearer and closer to "normal" than it otherwise would.
Excitingly, since Relumino Mode is ultimately just a clever software trick, this technology could theoretically be pushed out via a software update and installed on millions of existing Samsung TVs -- not just new and recently purchased ones.

Read more
AI turned Breaking Bad into an anime — and it’s terrifying
Split image of Breaking Bad anime characters.

These days, it seems like there's nothing AI programs can't do. Thanks to advancements in artificial intelligence, deepfakes have done digital "face-offs" with Hollywood celebrities in films and TV shows, VFX artists can de-age actors almost instantly, and ChatGPT has learned how to write big-budget screenplays in the blink of an eye. Pretty soon, AI will probably decide who wins at the Oscars.

Within the past year, AI has also been used to generate beautiful works of art in seconds, creating a viral new trend and causing a boon for fan artists everywhere. TikTok user @cyborgism recently broke the internet by posting a clip featuring many AI-generated pictures of Breaking Bad. The theme here is that the characters are depicted as anime characters straight out of the 1980s, and the result is concerning to say the least. Depending on your viewpoint, Breaking Bad AI (my unofficial name for it) shows how technology can either threaten the integrity of original works of art or nurture artistic expression.
What if AI created Breaking Bad as a 1980s anime?
Playing over Metro Boomin's rap remix of the famous "I am the one who knocks" monologue, the video features images of the cast that range from shockingly realistic to full-on exaggerated. The clip currently has over 65,000 likes on TikTok alone, and many other users have shared their thoughts on the art. One user wrote, "Regardless of the repercussions on the entertainment industry, I can't wait for AI to be advanced enough to animate the whole show like this."

Read more
4 simple pieces of tech that helped me run my first marathon
Garmin Forerunner 955 Solar displaying pace information.

The fitness world is littered with opportunities to buy tech aimed at enhancing your physical performance. No matter your sport of choice or personal goals, there's a deep rabbit hole you can go down. It'll cost plenty of money, but the gains can be marginal -- and can honestly just be a distraction from what you should actually be focused on. Running is certainly susceptible to this.

A few months ago, I ran my first-ever marathon. It was an incredible accomplishment I had no idea I'd ever be able to reach, and it's now going to be the first of many I run in my lifetime. And despite my deep-rooted history in tech, and the endless opportunities for being baited into gearing myself up with every last product to help me get through the marathon, I went with a rather simple approach.

Read more