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Coral-Repairing Robots Heal Damaged Reefs

Scientists from the Herriot-Watt University’s Centre for Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology are developing underwater robots able to repair coral reefs. They have, to date, built prototype coralbots with an onboard camera, computer, and flexible arms and grippers that let it reattach healthy pieces of coral to a reef. Typically, scuba divers have to undertake this process. However, they often cannot work on deep reefs. The researchers’ long-term goal is creating a swarm of eight robots capable of autonomously navigating and working on reefs throughout the world. To this end, they are refining aspects of the robot, including its computer-vision system and arm. They launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in hopes of raising $107,000 to create two robots that will be publicly demonstrated on a coral reef in a public aquarium. (SlashDot)(Gizmag)

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