Deep-diving robots to kill invasive lionfish

The robotics company iRobot, known for creating the autonomous and endearing Roomba vacuums, is taking steps to make a clean sweep of lionfish in the coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean, with a robot designed to target and dispatch the invasive fish. A diving robot will enable individuals on the ocean surface to remotely zap and kill lionfish with electrical charges. The effort is meant to help curb the fast-growing populations of these voracious predators, which are recognized by environmental officials as a serious threat to marine ecosystems in the western Atlantic.

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In Florida and in the Bahamas, where native fish and coral reef ecosystems have been especially hard-hit by booming lionfish numbers, environmental officials have organized hunting events encouraging divers to catch as many lionfish as possible. Research showed that the hunts can help native fish rebound, but they are most effective when targeting small areas, and won’t control lionfish populations on a larger scale.

Diving robots would need to get very close to their targets to deliver the killing shock, and tests showed that the lionfish didn’t seem spooked by an approaching robotic hunter. While other fish would quickly swim away when approached with probes similar to those the robot would carry, lionfish didn’t respond — perhaps because they aren’t used to being hunted by natural predators in that region, Rizzi suggested.

“We’ll be their first predator,” he said. “They won’t see us coming.”

Pavegen

Pavegen has build tiles that generate energy when people walk over them.

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The latest version of the tiles also come in a triangular shape, with a generator in each corner, which maximizes energy output no matter where you step.

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In Lagos, Nigeria, the tiles were installed under a soccer field, and players lit up the entire field during a match:

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LG Electronics to invest in robot technology

South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc said on Sunday it will aggressively invest in robots, seeking to capitalize on advancing artificial intelligence that may eventually lead to sophisticated machines performing everyday human tasks.

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LG said its appliances division is preparing the firm’s entry into the robotics industry with the aim to develop products that will work closely with home appliances products such as refrigerators, washers and air conditioning units. Advances in fields such as artificial intelligence and wireless communications are allowing for more sophisticated machines that can talk to each other via the internet and perform more complex tasks.

Countries across the world are investing heavily in robotics in hopes to develop a new industry or cope with socioeconomic problems such as low birth rates or an ageing population by introducing machines which can serve humans as cooks, caretakers or laborers.

LG did not elaborate on how much it plans to invest in its push or when it expects to launch robotic products, but the firm said it is exploring a variety of options through the combination of technologies including autonomous driving and artificial intelligence.