Robotic Submarine Delivering Lethal Injection of Poison to Crown of Thorn Sea Starfish

Published by , September 7, 2015 11:20 am

(I Programmer) — Researchers in Australia have developed a robot submarine that can identify the crown of thorn sea stars that destroy coral reefs and deliver a lethal injection. The crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is responsible for 50 percent of the Great Barrier Reef’s total decline in coral cover.

To combat this problem, researchers at Queensland University or Technology are now trial testing COTSbot, an autonomous underwater vehicle equipped with a vision system that recognizes the predatory sea stars (COTSS) and delivers poison via a robotic arm. A single shot of poison kills a COTSS in 24 hours, but as it is harmless to everything else on the reef, it doesn’t matter if a single COTSS is injected repeatedly.

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