Killer robot

Whilst on holiday in FNQ ...
The beauty and magic of the Great Barrier Reef is shattered in places by devastation of the coral by cyclones and that nasty Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS). Out on a boat, a biologist was telling me that for years divers had been killing the COTS by hand injecting them with a salt compound. A tedious process given the extent of the reef.
Now, a Queensland Uni has developed a mini robot with smarts to detect and kill the COTS. A fantastic development of technology with IT smarts that works under water for 8 hours.

Here's an extract from a Government publication ...

The Crown of Thorns Starfish, also known as COTS, which has been devastating the Great Barrier Reef for the past 40 years may have just met its match. Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have developed a robot specifically designed to detect and eliminate COTS on the Great Barrier Reef. The COTSbot, as it’s known, is a small submarine type robot equipped with a unique underwater detection system (see below video). This allows it to identify COTS on the reef and proceed to eliminate them through a pneumatic injection arm filled with a fatal dose of bile salts. COTS have been identified as one of two major causes for the decline of coral in the Great Barrier Reef. The other being tropical cyclones. The invertebrates eat healthy corals and in the right conditions, their numbers can reach plague proportions. Currently the threat of COTS is being tackled by human divers who search the reef for the pest and inject them by hand. However there aren’t enough divers out there to keep COTS numbers down across the entire protected area. Weather conditions and time limitations can also effect the efficiency of human divers.


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