Starfish-killing robot to protect Barrier Reef

Christopher Davidson
September 3, 2018

Thankfully it's targeting pest crown-of-thorns starfish attacking the Great Barrier Reef (for now).

"RangerBot is the world's first underwater robotic system designed specifically for coral reef environments, using only robot-vision for real-time navigation, obstacle avoidance and complex science missions", QUT robotics professor Matthew Dunbabin said. For QUT Professor Matthew Dunbabin, who's spent nearly two years working on the automobile, the time has advance for active implementation."We've "expert" RangerBoat to detect crown-of-thorns starfish-and only these coral-destroying starfish-in powerful the the same potential as other folks learn to distinguish between various forms of sea lifestyles", he said.

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The RangerBot has an eight-hour battery life and PC vision abilities enabling it to screen and guide reef zones at scales not already conceivable.

"RangerBot can stay underwater nearly three times longer than a human diver, gather more data, and operate in all conditions and at all times of the day or night, including where it may not be safe for a human diver". "Unlike most modern single-reason marine robots-which may perhaps presumably well be handbook, costly and in step with acoustic applied sciences-the RangerBot would perhaps be built with innovative imaginative and prescient-basically based fully applied sciences."Particularly, the drone doesn't depend on sound to navigate and has a high-tech draw permitting it to glance clearly underwater".

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"Environmental robotics is a real passion of ours and we see so much potential for these advanced technologies to transform the way we protect the world's coral reefs", he said.

In 2016, the project won the "Google Impact Challenge" and got $750,000 of funding, allowing the team to create it.

Great Barrier Reef Foundation managing director Anna Marsden said the robot could become an extra pair of eyes and hands for frontline staff managing the reef.

An aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands, along the central coast of Queensland.

"Due to (the reef's) size and complexity, effective management is a mammoth and expensive task", she said.

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