Oceans are the lifeblood of our planet since they cover almost half of the earth, provide more than half of the world’s oxygen, and feed roughly half of its population. Climate change has destroyed about 40% of marine habitats, making ocean conservation one of the most important environmental problems we may ever have to deal with.
The number of ocean robots has increased significantly in recent years. Robots can help preserve the condition of our oceans in several ways, including data collection and waste pickup. These are key ways that underwater robotics is helping to conserve the world’s most vast habitat.
Boosting Ship Fuel Efficiency
Every year, ships are responsible for emitting 1,000 megatons of greenhouse gases. But, by choosing more fuel-efficient routes, it is feasible to reduce this number and aid ships in decreasing their total fuel usage.
Many marine businesses turn to ships with a lot of sensors, cameras, and ways to talk to each other so they could collect data from anywhere in the ocean. Due to their reliance on the sun and wind for power, they could travel for months without emitting any emissions of their own. The hips are equipped with satellite and communication technology, which lets them send information to users in real-time and keep collecting data at the same time.
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This approach produces precise data on current weather conditions and predictions. People will then be able to utilize this information to optimize ship routes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs.
Conducting Environmental Monitoring
Monitoring what is happening at the bottom might be difficult at times. This is changing as biomimetic ocean robots become more common and begin monitoring the ocean for dangers. Robotic crabs, for example, are used to collect new data on the seafloor, and robo-jellyfish may be used to monitor what is going on in certain habitats.
The Korea Research Institute of Ships and Ocean Engineering created an autonomous crab that can dive to a depth of 656 feet below the surface and weighs 1,400 pounds. It does not generate silt and debris clouds. Moreover, the crab has a doppler radar-based navigation system that allows it to easily travel through foggy situations. It can zoom in on significant things and animals thanks to its several cameras, one of which is a tiltable HD camera.
Consuming Water Pollution
The University of Bristol has developed a miniature robot that imitates a marine insect. The objective of this robot is to digest dirty water and transform it into power. ‘Row-bot’ swims over the water’s surface, feeding on algae and decomposing plants, which power the ship’s motor.
Cleaning the Oceans from Plastics
Plastic waste contributes significantly to the severe contamination of the world’s seas. It is a major environmental concern that has a severe effect on marine life as well as water quality, and it also eliminates natural habitats for a range of organisms. Hence, governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals concerned about the future of our planet take a range of actions to rid the oceans of plastic.
Is it possible that robotics could help people keep the oceans clean? This seems to be the case. It can not only help clean up rivers and oceans, but it can also improve the ecosystem’s long-term viability.
Identifying Marine Species Using Big Computational Data
Researchers are using robotic technology to gather massive amounts of data about the ocean’s environment. This data covers temperature, marine life, earthquakes, tsunamis, and a variety of other phenomena. Data that is comprehensive enough to cover the whole ocean might be highly useful in a variety of ways, including identifying marine species and trends and providing information on fish populations, and other activities.
Fighting Illegal Fishing
Illegal fishing is a worldwide issue that puts marine ecosystems at risk, leads to food shortages, and is a major cause of human rights violations.
Ocean robots outfitted with long-range, unmanned missions, on the other hand, can be utilized to fight unlawful operations.
It does its job by putting sensors in hard-to-reach parts of the ocean. This lets ships cross parts of the sea that were hard to get to or too expensive to get to before. Together with satellite imaging and artificial intelligence (AI), the huge amounts of data collected by the robots could help find and stop illegal fishing.
Maritime robots are helping to protect the ocean by making ships run more efficiently and cleaning up trash patches. This technology continues to progress fast. As time passes, so will the bots’ eco-friendliness.