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Earth Robotics

Robots Could Solve the Lionfish Ecological Disaster ( 20

"Lionfish are an invasive species that are destroying our coral reefs and fisheries," writes SkinnyGuy. "The non-profit RISE (from iRobot's Colin Angle) has a plan to use robots to fish these Lionfish and serve them up to us on a delicious, golden platter." Mashable reports: This was not as crazy of an idea as it sounds and Angle had already been wondering "if there was still a way to use robot technology to solve larger environmental problems and maybe more proactively than merely sending our defense robots to natural disaster zones"... Could, Angle wondered, a robot even do the job and could it do it at scale? "Spending half a million dollars to build a robot that kill 10 lionfish is absurd," he told me...

They started with fresh-water electro fishing technology and adapted it for salt water. The robot stuns, but doesn't kill the lionfish and then it sucks them into the robot. It does this over and over again, until full of unconscious fish and then rises to the surface where a fisherman can unload the catch and deliver them to waiting restaurants and food stores. "Ultimately, the control of this device is like a PlayStation game: you're looking at screen and using a joystick controller. Zap it, catch it, do it again, said RISE Executive Director John Rizzi who told me that a team of unpaid volunteers have been working on the prototype for over a year."

The fish-killing robot will launch in Bermuda at the America's Cup festivities on April 19th, where there'll also be a celebrity chef lionfish cook-off and other events to help raise money "to further developer, build and deliver these robots to commercial fishermen and women."
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Robots Could Solve the Lionfish Ecological Disaster

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  • by freeze128 ( 544774 ) on Saturday April 01, 2017 @12:50PM (#54157925)
    Blame Jean Luc Picard. He hauled that lionfish of his all over the damn galaxy. That's not the correct thing to do with an invasive species. I'm pretty sure that is a huge violation of the Prime Directive.
  • "you're looking at screen and using a joystick controller. Zap it, catch it, do it again, "

    That's a waldo not a robot.

  • by 110010001000 ( 697113 ) on Saturday April 01, 2017 @05:01PM (#54158567) Homepage Journal
    developer a spell check too.
  • Robots feeding off fish is the literal starting point for the problems in Horizon Zero Dawn [].

  • Manshonyagger, Mark Elf.
  • I'm not sure I want to support a robotics company named RISE. Particularly if said robots are specifically designed to kill things.
    Oh wait, this is actually a Waldo and not a robot, with a human operator consciously deciding to do the mass fish-killing? Carry on.
    (Can't decide if I mean that sarcastically.)

  • They are yummy (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chewbacon ( 797801 ) on Sunday April 02, 2017 @01:04AM (#54159397)

    Flakey, white, and mild tasting. Kind of like a hog fish (providing you've had one of those). I've been saying for a while, if you want to get rid of them, give seafood lovers a taste of them. Their flesh is not toxic, that's the spines. Since they won't bite a hook, catching them requires labor-intensive spear fishing, but this may help despite the initial investment.

    • how about bullets with strings? We can call them harpoons!

    • by Xest ( 935314 )

      I'd honestly be surprised if a robot is any more cost effective than using human labour in many areas, the robotic advantage is undoubtedly in places with more dangerous tidal swell or at depths below 40m. This might be less true in Florida, but labour is much cheaper throughout large swathes of the Caribbean and many such nations would love to be able to profit from protecting their reefs. The biggest barrier I could see is that there is simply not a functioning industry to export them currently. If there

  • What could possibly go wrong?

Someday somebody has got to decide whether the typewriter is the machine, or the person who operates it.