Monday, May 21, 2007

Underwater Whale Guard Robot

An underwater robot that can hear the calls of whales, and so help ships to avoid them, has just been successfully trialled in the Bahamas. The system is very efficiently designed to eliminate all the flaws present in the previous systems. The robot’s batteries last a month per charge, but they’re working on a robot that can swim autonomously for five years. It has a microphone attached to the bottom of the glider that can pick up calls from all kind of whales including the including the high frequency call of the beaked whale. The system is so sophisticated that it can process the data collected at its level and even help differentiate between the species.

The biggest advantage of this system is that it can transfer the data to the satellite or via a radio link across the world when it comes back to the surface and therefore eliminating the need of any system to track the glider. The Theriault’s system will help in saving whales as it will inform the ships about the exact location of the whales so that these ships can be avoided from entering that area.
Ever since I missed seeing a whale shark while scuba diving in Thailand, I have believed that every large marine mammal should be outfitted with a GPS tracker, so we can monitor them wherever they go. Until that day, this will have to do.

via Robotster