Abstract : This article presents the first results of a work which aims at designing an active sensor inspired by the electric fish. Its interest is its potential for robotics underwater navigation and exploration tasks in conditions where vision and sonar would meet difficulty. It could also be used as a complementary omnidirectional, short range sense to vision and sonar. Combined with a well defined engine geometry, this sensor can be modeled analytically. In this article, we focus on a particular measurement mode where one electrode of the sensor acts as a current emitter and the others as current receivers. In spite of the high sensitivity required by electric sense, the first results show that we can obtain a detection range of the order of the sensor length, which suggests that this sensor principle could be used in future for robotics obstacle avoidance.