Lionfish are dangerous sea creatures. They are venomous fish whose stings can cause extreme pain to us humans and, in worse cases, paralysis. They also are harmful predators that prey on native fish and crustaceans in the Atlantic Ocean. In other words, they are a threat to the ecosystem in the Atlantic.
In order to solve this aquatic problem, the Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE) launched a robot called Guardian LF1 — a submersible robot that preys on these lionfishes. It “hunts, stuns, and captures” these predators.
The Guardian LF1 features eight thrusters, an onboard computer, a camera, and a power source, along with a set of low-voltage “stunning panels” and a chamber for storing captured fish. It is controlled from the surface using a tether but includes an autopilot and a computer vision system capable of distinguishing lionfish from other species.
The robot costs around $1,000 but could net its operator $1,500 to $2,000 worth of lionfish on a good day, its creators claim (assuming the fish can be sold for food). The latest version of the robot can dive to 1,000 feet, below the reach of sport divers.
(Image Credit: Technology Review)