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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Starfish-killing robot close to trials on Great Barrier Reef

An autonomous starfish-killing robot is close to
being ready for trials on the Great Barrier Reef,
researchers say.
Crown-of-thorns starfish have have been described
as a significant threat to coral.
The Cotsbot robot, which has a vision system, is
designed to seek out starfish and give them a lethal
injection.
After it eradicates the bulk of starfish in a given area,
human divers can move in and mop up the survivors.
Field trials of the robot have begun in Moreton Bay in
Brisbane to refine its navigation system, Queensland
University of of Technology researcher Matthew
Dunbabin told the BBC.
There are no crown-of-thorns starfish in Moreton
Bay but once the navigation has been refined, the
robot will be unleashed on the reef.
"Later this month we begin deploying the robot in the
Great Barrier Reef to evaluate our state-of-the-art
vision-based crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS)
detection system," he said.
"Over the next five months we plan to progressively
increase the level of autonomy the robot is allowed,
leading to autonomous detection and injection of the
starfish."
The technology has two key components - an image
recognition system and the robot submersible.
"The core of the detection is a state-of-the-art
computer vision and machine learning system," Mr
Dunbabin said.
"This system has been trained to recognise COTS
[crown-of-thorns starfish] from among a vast range
of corals using thousands of still images of the reef
and videos taken by COTS-eradicating divers."
Since the 1960s, the movement of nutrients from the
land into the sea has meant that starfish numbers
are growing and destroying large areas of reef, the
researchers said.

1 comment:

Abdulhafiz bashir said...

What about after effect of the kiling of star fish in the ecosystem or isnt there any.