HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
REGISTER   |   LOGIN   |   HELP
News
Mechatronics
Underwater Robot Tracks Sand Tiger Sharks
11/1/2012

An underwater robot based on the Slocum glider is tracking sand tiger sharks to help researchers understand shark migration patterns and behavior as it happens.   (Source: University of Delaware)
An underwater robot based on the Slocum glider is tracking sand tiger sharks to help researchers understand shark migration patterns and behavior as it happens.
(Source: University of Delaware)

Return to Article

View Comments: Threaded|Newest First|Oldest First
Mydesign
User Rank
Platinum
Real time motion study
Mydesign   11/1/2012 7:16:56 AM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Ann, such real time tracing technologies will help to identify the moving pattern of shark. Moreover I think a small modification in the system may help to extend the study to other underwater specious too.  but am not clear how long (range) the signals can be transmitted through under water, which can disintegrate on long distance under the acoustics  conditions.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Social sharks
naperlou   11/1/2012 11:04:13 AM
NO RATINGS
Ann, if this is like a social network for sharks, the next step is letting them communicate with each other.  With all the advances in robotics that should be something that is being researched.  Then, Facebook could sell ads to them.

akwaman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Social sharks
akwaman   11/2/2012 10:02:30 AM
NO RATINGS
That is funny, naperlou, but seriously, the implications of turning these tags into a network is a great idea.  If the connections between enough sea creatures were initiated, a real-time 3D view of the enviromment and creature interaction could be invaluable for understanding the interrelationships of sea dwelling creatures, and their migration patterns.  This could also give early warning to adverse environmental conditions.

naperlou
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Social sharks
naperlou   11/2/2012 11:12:25 AM
NO RATINGS
akwaman, I was just being facetious, and I fully agree with you.  It would be really useful.

Scott Orlosky
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Social sharks
Scott Orlosky   11/18/2012 6:47:26 PM
NO RATINGS
I like the concept. If enough variety of species could be made "trackable", then interspecies interactions as well as environmental responses might give us a wealth of information.  It seems we know more about the inner workings of atoms than we do about ocean ecosystems.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Social sharks
Ann R. Thryft   12/4/2012 11:49:41 AM
NO RATINGS
Note that the sharks tagged in this article are very small compared to great whites, so tagging them is possible and a lot less dangerous. I think Scott's point is well taken--there's a huge amount that we don't know about the ocean and its ecosystems, and perhaps robotics will help us learn more.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/1/2012 12:52:00 PM
NO RATINGS
Nice article, Ann. Compared with the robots you've been covering, this one is a bit less exotic. But still cool. 

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Charles Murray   11/1/2012 6:59:56 PM
NO RATINGS
It would be nice if OTIS could track some of the great whites that spotted on the East Coast this past summer. It's certainly better than a guy with binoculars standing in a shark tower.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/1/2012 7:51:37 PM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, as you probably remember, Elizabeth did a story about great white tracking in the Pacific off San Francisco. If it works, it could be helpful on the East Coast. That is, if they could tag every great white.

Elizabeth M
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Elizabeth M   11/2/2012 10:43:18 AM
NO RATINGS
Good memory, Rob! Yes, this does work, and in the future this will really give marine biologists a weapon to keep track of a number of sea creatures, sharks, of course, among them. But imagine the possibilities for tracking other types of fish and observing migration paths, depletion of fish in overfished areas and other patterns of behavior. Long-term these types of robots could prove to be valuable ecological and even economical tools. There also could be other applications for a wireless network in the sea.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/2/2012 2:31:19 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree, Elizabeth, there are tons of applications for this type of sea tracking. It would be interesting if there were a widespread effort to tag great whites. That would be the only way to help avoid beach attacks.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Charles Murray   11/5/2012 7:36:09 PM
NO RATINGS
If the Great Whites need to be tagged, I'm afraid I won't be able to volunteer for the job, Rob. I'm busy that day.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/6/2012 11:16:41 AM
NO RATINGS
Chuck, I think you just identified the problem with tracking sharks in order to ensure beach safety. I would guess that even a strong effort to tag sharks would leave countless sharks untagged.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/3/2012 10:56:54 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Rob, I agree. I wonder if this robot can track the Box Jellyfish which has been a plague to Australian Beach goers for years? Also, does the torpedoe shape of the robot seem threatening among onlookers, especially the Coast Guard, while it tracks Sand Tiger Sharks? As always, very nice article Ann!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Ann R. Thryft   11/5/2012 12:29:16 PM
NO RATINGS
mrdon, that's an interesting question about tagging jellyfish. The jellyfish's flesh would have to be solid enough--and they would have to be capturable without harm to them or us--to be tagged in the first place. The researchers in this project designed a special sling to hold sharks while they were tagging them. I'd bet tagging jellyfish is a lot harder. Does anyone know if there's already a tagging system for these slippery critters?

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/5/2012 1:56:13 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Ann, I didn't think about how researchers would tag jellyfish because of their fleshy bodies when discussing the application. Good Question!!! 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/5/2012 2:59:38 PM
NO RATINGS
Good question about whether it could be used to track jellyfish, MrDon. My guess is that it would be difficult to tag a jellyfish -- their tissue seem too fragile. But it may depend on the nature of the tag.

mrdon
User Rank
Gold
Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/5/2012 3:10:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Rob, Thanks for the comment. It may be possible with today's tech but hopefully someone reading this post can shed some light on the answer.

Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Lumus and eyeSight have partnered to create consumer-grade devices that offer all the prime functions of smart glasses without the bulk.
VisLab joins the autonomous car effort with the DEEVA prototype.
NASA and Boeing developed a huge, carbon composite cryogenic fuel tank for deep space missions, and started testing it last month. The 18-ft cryotank will enable heavy-lift launch vehicles to send both humans and robots into deep space.
Focus on Fundamentals -- a new Design News webinar series -- kicks off April 29 with How to Select Drives for Robotics Applications. Don't miss it!
Research and other advancements in the realms of robotics, diagnostic and treatment devices, nanotechnology, and medical implants may one day make humans superior versions of their natural selves.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
3/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
2/27/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York / 7:00 p.m. London
12/18/2013 Available On Demand
11/20/2013 Available On Demand
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Apr 21 - 25, Creating & Testing Your First RTOS Application Using MQX
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: April 29 - Day 1
Sponsored by maxon precision motors
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service