This Undersea Robot Is Restoring Damaged Sections Of The Great Barrier Reef

December 23, 2018

In a world first, an undersea robot has dispersed microscopic baby corals to repopulate parts of the Great Barrier Reef.

The small robot, named LarvalBot, moves autonomously along damaged sections of reef, seeding them with hundreds of thousands of microscopic baby corals.

In the trial run, the submersible dispersed 100,000 baby specimens – but researchers will have to wait and see if they take hold.

"We can't actually see the results of these experiments until we start to see juvenile corals grow. So, for at least six to nine months," said Peter Harrison, director of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University and the leader of the coral restoration project.

"What we'll be doing now is monitoring the reef over the coming months."

Harrison says he hopes to eventually develop a fleet of LarvalBots that would be used to repopulate reefs around the world.

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