Robotic Restoration of Coral Reefs Crowdfunding Project Launched

In a campaign to raise funds on behalf of Autonomous Undersea Systems Institute, a verified non-profit organization, the participants of a newly launched crowdfunding project hope to raise at least $30,000 to develop intelligent robotics technology that will aid the restoration of coral reefs.


Edinburgh, Scotland -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/17/2013 -- “Coral reefs are being damaged on a global scale by storms, destructive fishing, ship groundings and careless tourists. This directly effects the 500 million people the reefs support.” said Lea-Anne Henry, Co-creator of Coralbots. “Additionally, it can take as many as several decades for the reefs to heal. We need a quicker answer. That’s why the Coralbots development is so important.”

Coralbots are autonomous undersea robots that will intelligently navigate across a damaged coral reef and distinguish between live from dead coral fragments. The Coralbot will manipulate pieces of healthy corals - either scattered from their original position due to damage, or provided by a coral nursery - and find appropriate places for the pieces to be attached to the original reef. When done by humans this process is time consuming. With a Coralbot the time taken is reduced significantly and the chances of regeneration are increased.

Additionally, the team of innovative scientists will incorporate swarm intelligence to control robotic behavior. “Swarm intelligence explains how simple behaviors in a group of creatures can lead to complex structures. For instance, this is how bees build hives. We will incorporate that intelligence to enable the Coralbots to do more complex missions within teams allowing them to quickly and efficiently reconstruct different factions of the reef specific to their case by case needs.” added David Corne, Co-Creator of CoralBots.

The funds from the crowdfunding project will develop and refine the necessary 'computational intelligence' as well as buy and configure one or more Coralbots. When additional funds are raised the first mission will be to restore damaged coral reefs in Belize while Norwegian and Swedish trawl-damaged systems are likely to be next in line.

“Crowdfunding support will provide a conservation solution that paves the way for coral reef restoration across the globe. It will also create a wealth of additional marine conservation programs using the same technology.” said Corne.

To make a donation to the crowdfunding project Click Here