Thursday, August 03, 2006

Goldfish Scooping Contest

Here's an interesting story I found thanks to which although it isn't new it does highlight an annual Goldfish contest that's on soon.The Japanese have developed a robot called Poi-Poi-kun that can scoop up Goldfish at the rate of ten a minute. At first this seems the craziest idea ever but there is point to it. The city Yamatokoriyama calls itself the Goldfish capital of the world and produces 80 million Goldfish a year. To promote their industry they invented a sport whereby contestants, mainly children try to scoop up as many Goldfish within three minutes using a small paper paddle called a Poi. This is easier said than done and if the paddle breaks then you end your turn.
As Goldfish(Kingyo) and some Koi production is one of the main economic industries of the area the Nara Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology created Poi-Poi-Kun to showcase their skills at the event. While the human record for scooping Goldfish is around 60 a minute easily beating the robot it is still a very clever invention. Throughout the koi farms at the moment koi selections are well in progress but even with the careful eye and the knowledge of even the best breeders it is a time consuming job. Starting with millions of fry that are culled to leave the best koi possible could perhaps be a job technology can improve upon in the future for some farms.


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