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Submersible Robot Designed to Hunt and Capture Invasive Lionfish

Updated: Feb 24, 2023

A submersible robot called Guardian LF1 has been developed by Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE), a nonprofit organization founded by co-founder and CEO of iRobot Colin Angle and his wife. This robot is designed to hunt and capture lionfish in the Atlantic Ocean, an invasive species that has no natural predator and have had a negative impact on the native ecosystem. Featuring eight thrusters, an onboard computer, camera and power source, there is also low-voltage “stunning-panels” and a chamber to stun and store the captured fish. The robot is controlled by a person from the surface using a tether but has an autopilot function and a computer vision system which is capable of distinguishing lionfish from other species. With the ability to reach over 300 meters (about 1,000 ft) below the surface, it can more easily access the seas versus human divers. The robot is said to cost around USD1,000 but its creators claim that its operator could earn USD1,500 to USD2,000 worth of lionfish on a good day, if the fish is sold for food.

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