Robotic technology is being developed to help rid the reefs of invasive species–the crown of thorns starfish on our side of the world and the lionfish in the Atlantic and Caribbean.
Robot designed to kill the invasive crown of thorns
From Scientific American:
The Great Barrier Reef will have a robotic protector beginning this winter. The underwater autonomous vehicle is programmed to patrol the massive living structure in search of destructive crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), which it then kills by lethal injection. These starfish prey on coral polyps, and although they are native to the reef, their population has exploded in the past few years, possibly because of overfishing of their natural predators. Click here to read the full story.
Our friends in the Atlantic and Caribbean also have a serious problem with the invasive lionfish. Another robot has been proposed to help with this predator.
Prototype of the lionfish killer robot
From Live Science:
The robotics company iRobot, known for creating the autonomous and endearing Roomba vacuums, is taking steps to make a clean sweep of lionfish in the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with a robot designed to target and dispatch the invasive fish. Click here to read the full article