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By Denise Chow
With oceans growing warmer and more acidic due to climate change, the world's coral reefs are located. Recently, research has shown that the number of coral bleaching events has increased drastically in recent years and in 201
But scientists at two Australian universities have developed an underwater robot that can help turn the tide into the ongoing struggle to rescue floodplains. The body-delayed, doubled LarvalBot is designed to move autonomously along damaged tear pieces to provide them with hundreds of thousands of microscopic corals.
"The reduced number of corals means that we have lost the ability for coral to provide enough larvae to resolve and restore these communities quickly," says Peter Harrison, director of the Southern Cross University Research Center at Southern Cross University, and leader of the coral recovery project. using an automated technology that allows us to target the delivery of the larvae to damaged reef systems and increase the efficiency that new coral communities can generate. "
Harrison's team recently tested LarvalBot at Vlasoff Reef, an outer part of the Great Barrier Reef along Australia's northeastern coast During the trial period, the immersed dispersed 100,000 baby samples are derived from corals that survived the bleaching event 2016-17, which is believed to be particularly tolerant of warmer ocean temperatures. Future versions of the fine should be able to spread millions of baby corals to accelerate the regrowth of the lesions. reef, says Harrison, adding that the team is planning to test LarvalBot on a reef in the Philippines.
But the scientists have to wait and see if the microscopic baby corals get hold of.
"We can't actually see the results of these experiments until we begin to see juvenile corals grow – so for at least six to nine months," Harrison says. "What we should do now monitors the reef in the next few months."
LarvalBot is based on another submersible robot called RangerBot, which was designed not to deliver infants without killing a coral-eating variety hunt. RangerBot was developed and built by Matthew Dunbabin, an engineering and robotics engineer at Queensland University of Technology, who also reworked RangerBot to carry the kid's calves.
Harrison hopes to eventually develop a LarkeBots fleet that would be used to repopulate reefs around the world, but he is unsure how much such a project would cost.
Mark Eakin, College Park, Maryland-based coordinator of the Coral Reef Watch program, called Harrison's project an "excellent idea" but questioned the effectiveness of underwater robots to address a global problem such as coral loss.
"The coral reef area affected by significant mortality is about the size of the state of West Virginia," Eakin said. "Now consider sharing the state of West Virginia across the Pacific Ocean. We have to do everything we can to protect coral reefs, but we must remember that this problem is quite huge compared to what these robots can do."
Eakin said Rescue Tires will ultimately have to deal with the root cause of the problem: Climate Change.
"Although this technology is upscale, if we do not deal with climate change, it will not suffice," he says. "It's like coming up with a robot to plant trees after the devastating fires that just happened.
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