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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)

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Mydesign
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Real time motion study
Mydesign   11/1/2012 7:16:56 AM
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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
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Social sharks
naperlou   11/1/2012 11:04:13 AM
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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.

Rob Spiegel
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Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/1/2012 12:52:00 PM
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Nice article, Ann. Compared with the robots you've been covering, this one is a bit less exotic. But still cool. 

Charles Murray
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Charles Murray   11/1/2012 6:59:56 PM
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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
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/1/2012 7:51:37 PM
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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.

akwaman
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Re: Social sharks
akwaman   11/2/2012 10:02:30 AM
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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.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Elizabeth M   11/2/2012 10:43:18 AM
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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.

naperlou
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Re: Social sharks
naperlou   11/2/2012 11:12:25 AM
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akwaman, I was just being facetious, and I fully agree with you.  It would be really useful.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: Not quite so exotic
Rob Spiegel   11/2/2012 2:31:19 PM
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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.

mrdon
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Re: Not quite so exotic
mrdon   11/3/2012 10:56:54 PM
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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!

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