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Saving the Great Barrier Reef – RangerBot

Coral reefs are undoubtedly one of the most colorful and liveliest places in the ocean. Due to their captivating colors and variety of species of ocean creatures; fish, turtles, and rays are some of the most common visitors to a coral reef. The largest coral reef in the world is called the Great Barrier Reef and is located on the north-eastern coast of Australia. It spans a distance of 2,300 km along the coast of Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef is also a significant tourist attraction for Australia.

The Reef is the largest coral reef in the world and is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is so big that the Great Wall of China is significantly smaller; it is by far the only living thing that can be seen from space.  This reef is a haven for many varieties of aquatic creatures and is a popular tourist destination drawing people to its beauty from around the world. The Great Barrier Reef is so old that there are shellfish that are at least 120 years old. The reef also has over 400 different types of coral.

The Threats to the Great Barrier Reef

In recent times, the great barrier reef has been impacted mostly due to pollution and climatic conditions. One of the climatic conditions that affect the coral reef’s ability to function is cyclones and hurricanes that happen out at sea. Hurricanes and storms are a combination of the brute power of high-velocity winds and rain, this causes large swells and waves, which are quite destructive to corals, are they are ripped out. However, the most catastrophic threats aren’t in the forces of nature, it is in a creature that is seemingly harmless. The Crown of Thorns starfish is a member of the starfish family, but instead of eating mollusks and clams, they tend to feed on corals. Ever since the increase of these coral-eating starfish, the coral reef has been slowly contracting in on itself.

The RangerBot

A solution to this seemingly irreversible destruction of the coral reef is the RangerBot. It is a new robot that serves as a patrolling drone for the coral reef. It is a cheaper and a more affordable choice, than sending divers to clear the beach regularly. The drone looks like a small yellow submarine and is fitted with a camera and can be controlled remotely through a tablet, making its use extremely affordable. The main aim of the bot is to patrol the coral and kill any Crown of Thorns that it finds. They can do this by injecting the creature with a lethal chemical, without human intervention. Fortunately, the compound isn’t dangerous to the coral. With the use of state of the art software the bot is designed to target the only starfish, if it has any doubt that it is a different creature, then the animal is left alone. The RangerBot is an ideal machine for this job as it reaches spaces that are too small for divers and can last 8 hours before needing to recharge.

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