Coralbots to the Rescue!

SCOTTISH scientists are developing a swarm of intelligent robots to save coral reefs.

 A team of “coralbots”, each individually working to simple rules, will piece together damaged bits of coral, allowing them to regrow. The approach is inspired by the behaviour of natural swarms of insects such as bees, wasps and termites which collectively build substantial and complex structures.

After damage, some coral fragments will regrow if reassembled on the reef framework. At present, this is done by volunteer scuba divers but the method has only limited success because they cannot spend long periods underwater nor reach depths of over 200 metres where some of the deep-sea coral grows.

Now, researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh are developing squad of coralbots to do the work instead.

Read the full article at the Scotsman.

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