from the hopefully-seanet-won't-learn-from-skynet dept.
schwit1 writes: A 30-kilogram robotic yellow submarine is keeping sea stars in check with poison. The sea stars periodically have huge population booms, and a square kilometer of reef can be home to 100,000 of them. They'll kill off the reefs if left unchecked, but humans can only kill a couple sea stars per minute. The task is overwhelming but simple and repetitive, and thus ripe for automation. The COTSBot has "a maximum speed of over two meters per second and an endurance of over six hours. Five thrusters give it the capability of briefly hovering in the water column, giving it time to attack crown of thorns sea stars with an integrated poison injection system. It's completely autonomous, down to the identification and targeting of [sea stars] lurking among coral."
"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically
speaking, an extremely unnatural condition."
-- Robert Briffault