One of the enthusiasts from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute of Robotics Resource Centers, William Godsey has designed a robot which has the capability to reduce the harm caused by the invasive species to the coral reefs. Lionfish is the most highly troublesome invasive fish to affect the coral reefs. Studies have found out that Lionfish are the serious threat to the coral reefs after they have invaded the place where they don’t belong to. This has to lead to a serious problem to the ecosystem of the coral reefs and to the ocean ecosystem also.
With the guidance from the researcher in WPI William has developed an autonomous robot which has the capability to hunt down the invasive species once programmed on its own with the use of spears. Apart from this killing ability of the robot it also helps to clear off the Lionfish by allowing the dead fish to be fetched by the fisherman who can sell the fish and make some earning out of it. Lionfish are the most sought-after expensive menu items in the restaurants; this robot helps to earn the fisherman a minimum of USD 20 from a pound of Lionfish. So, rather than just killing the Lionfish it helps in earning few bucks for the fisherman and clean the water ecosystem.
This project has some environmental and economical benefits, said in a statement by the Brandon Kelly, a researcher involved in this project. He said that he personally saw the devastating effects on the coral reefs this invasive fish was causing. They destroy the local fish population and the delicate ecosystem of the coral reefs. The project team builds a robot smart enough to identify the invasive fish and execute the task without even touching the coral reefs, it can track down the invasive fish without the help of any helper once programmed to do so. However, this project is in its prototype stage and requires a rigorous testing before commercializing the product.