Today’s Eco-Robots That Help Address Critical Environmental Issues

There is boundless potential for robotic technology to address environmental catastrophes. Recognizing this, Colin Angle, chairman, chief executive officer and founder of iRobot and Erika Angle, chief executive officer of Science From Scientists, have founded Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE). RSE is an independent non-profit organization, not affiliated with iRobot, that is focused on developing robots to solve environmental problems. Started with initial funding from the Anthropocene Institute, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners and the Angle Family, the non-profit’s first initiative is to develop an undersea robot to slow the destruction caused by lionfish, an invasive species drastically reducing biodiversity and coral reef health in all warm waters of the western Atlantic. By combining technology development with mass manufacturing techniques, RSE offers a unique set of capabilities to solve some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems on a massive scale.

Started with initial funding from the Anthropocene Institute, Schmidt Marine Technology Partners and the Angle Family, the non-profit’s first initiative is to develop an undersea robot to slow the destruction caused by lionfish, an invasive species drastically reducing biodiversity and coral reef health in all warm waters of the western Atlantic. By combining technology development with mass manufacturing techniques, RSE offers a unique set of capabilities to solve some of the world’s most challenging environmental problems on a massive scale.

One such example of robot helping with invasive lionfish in Florida

The lionfish has a venomous reputation with its ability to multiply like crazy, gobble up numerous crustaceans and fish, and swim around the waters off Florida without any predator in sight.

Lionfish are indiscriminate and voracious predators that do not stop feeding. They gorge on at least 70 different species of reef fish and crustaceans and are capable of eating prey up to half the size of their own body. Reefs are already under threat from climate change and ocean acidification. As the lionfish devour herbivores, such as wrasse, the corals become vulnerable to algae overgrowth and eventually are smothered and die. RSE not only sheds light on environmental issues like this, but offers a sustainable platform where robots can be developed to serve the environment.Lionfish are indiscriminate and voracious predators that do not stop feeding. They gorge on at least 70 different species of reef fish and crustaceans and are capable of eating prey up to half the size of their own body. Reefs are already under threat from climate change and ocean acidification. As the lionfish devour herbivores, such as wrasse, the corals become vulnerable to algae overgrowth and eventually are smothered and die. RSE not only sheds light on environmental issues like this, but offers a sustainable platform where robots can be developed to serve the environment.

Robots in Service of the Environment, or RISE created a robot that is now helping to eliminate these zebra-striped invasives.

Image result for robot catching lionfish

Most scientists and environmentalists are worried about lionfish because they can produce up to 30,000 eggs every four to five days, according to RISE. That’s about 2 million eggs a year. Each lionfish can eat 20 fish in 30 minutes.

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