An undersea robot that is helping restore Great Barrier Reef by seeding damaged parts with thousands of baby corals
As the global temperatures are rising, our oceans are turning acidic, which spells disaster for the world’s coral reefs. Almost 50% of the corals forming Australia’s Great Barrier Reef died in just two years – 2016 and 2017.
However, researchers at two Australian universities have come up with a small undersea robot, named LarvalBot, that is dispersing microscopic baby corals to repopulate damaged parts of the Great Barrier Reef.
The robot is designed to move autonomously along damaged sections of reef, seeding them with hundreds of thousands of microscopic baby corals.
“The reduced number of corals means we’ve lost the ability for coral to provide enough larvae to settle and restore these communities quickly,” said Peter Harrison, director of the Marine Ecology Research Center at Southern Cross University and the leader of the coral restoration project. “The idea here is to use an automated technique that allows us to target delivery of the larvae into damaged reef systems and increase the efficiency that new coral communities can be generated.”