Scientists have begun work on creating a new underwater robot equipped with artificial intelligence that will be able to detect illegal fishing as well as perform surveillance tasks to help protect marine mammals from certain human activities that can sometimes inadvertently harm such animals.
The main example of the latter is the installation of wind turbines in the sea, a necessary action but one that requires special care to avoid collateral damage.
The new type of robot is under development at the University of Southampton in the UK.
Its artificial intelligence system is called MARLIN.
The robot will use underwater sensors to remotely monitor animal and human activity, as well as make environmental measurements, anywhere in the ocean. The information it collects will be transmitted in real time.
“Using the power of artificial intelligence to monitor the underwater world, combined with the ability to rapidly transmit the information to land, will allow us to provide tools to protect fragile marine ecosystems and detect a range of illegal activities,” said Paul White, a professor at the University of Southampton and a member of the research and development team.
The artificial intelligence of the new marine robot will allow it to detect illegal fishing, among other problematic situations for marine fauna. (Image: University of Southampton)
Large ships that spend considerable time at sea are often used for these kinds of maritime surveillance missions. The new MARLIN system could significantly reduce the time these ships spend at sea, which in turn could cut their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 75%. (Fountain: NCYT by Amazings)