Autonomous robosub hunts starfish with poison-tipped needles

Autonomous robosub hunts starfish with poison-tipped needles

Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) are voracious coral shoppers with a propensity for inhabitants explosions, which makes them very actual threats to the world’s coral reefs. And whereas they’re sometimes held in examine by fish greater within the meals chain, overly aggressive human fishing has decimated these predator species. That is why a staff from the Queensland College of Know-how in Australia has spent the previous decade creating a absolutely autonomous COTS-searching robotic submarine to assist convey these populations again into stability.

The COTSbot is a torpedo-formed autonomous underwater car (AUV) that weighs about sixty five kilos. And by “absolutely autonomous” I imply this factor is a Skynet Hunter-Killer for starfish — all the things from navigation to the COTS-concentrating on system is managed by the sub itself sans human intervention. Its stomach is armed with an built-in injector system loaded with a toxin — thiosulfate-citrate-bile salts-sucrose agar — particularly designed to kill COTS in 24 hours with a single injection, however not hurt anything on the reef.

Autonomous robosub hunts starfish with poison-tipped needles

Human divers can kill perhaps one hundred twenty COTS an hour injecting them by hand. A small fleet of COTSbots can clear ninety nine % of a reef infested with of hundreds of those animals in just some days. Any COTS that the bots miss can then simply be dispatched by people or different predators, identical to nature meant.

[Image Credit: Thomas Quine – flickr]

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