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Swarming Robots Rescue Coral Reefs
9/18/2012

Coralbots will be trained to distinguish coral fragments from other objects, such as sponges and other sea creatures, as well as rocks and trash.   (Source: Murray Roberts/Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh)
Coralbots will be trained to distinguish coral fragments from other objects, such as sponges and other sea creatures, as well as rocks and trash.
(Source: Murray Roberts/Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh)

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Charles Murray
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Re: keep us updated
Charles Murray   9/18/2012 6:31:25 PM
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Cool story, Ann. I'm curious...what could these swarming robots do to re-build the reefs?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: keep us updated
Rob Spiegel   9/18/2012 1:18:17 PM
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Fascinating, Ann. I take it they would rebuild by using broken pieces of coral -- or perhaps supporting coral that is beginning to break. This could be a big deal given that coral reefs are in bad shape all over the globe.

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: keep us updated
Ann R. Thryft   9/18/2012 12:36:35 PM
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I also wish we'd been able to see what they look like. It's worth remembering that the by now famous U of PA's flying robot quadrotor swarm learned to build things https://www.grasp.upenn.edu/success_story/grasp_lab_drones_colbert_report as did a similar swarm in France http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=249645&image_number=2 Building things is what the coral-repairing swarm will do, so it's not hard to imaging that, assuming the robots stay waterproof, they'll be able to rebuild the reefs pretty quickly, especially with enough of them.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: keep us updated
Rob Spiegel   9/18/2012 11:59:45 AM
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It will be interesting to see what details come out about these swarming robots. I can't imagine how they will be able to rebuild damaged coral in days. If they can, that's great news.

NadineJ
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keep us updated
NadineJ   9/18/2012 11:03:15 AM
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It's interesting but without any details, it's hard to comment.  Is there any research like this in any other part of the world?  Australia and the US also have endangered coral reefs.

TJ McDermott
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You've defined Pixar's next movie
TJ McDermott   9/18/2012 10:49:23 AM
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Robots.

Coral Reef.

"WALL-E Finds Nemo"

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