Robots could solve the problem of pervasive invasive fish
Robotic ocean predators have arrived to help protect marine ecosystems and chew bubble gum.
And they're all out of bubble gum.
Welcome to What the Future.
On today's show, the fish-hunting robot made to cull an invasive species.
A satellite targets and takes down space junk for the first time.
And an unemployed robot gets a new job at Dodger Stadium.
Let's jump right into thje deep end were lion fish are running in mud.
Lion fish are whats known as an invasive species, meaning they have few predators outside of their natural waters.
So when they showed up in the careabeain sea and atlantic ocean, they gulg on juvenile fish, with stormach expandup to 30 times their normal sizes, lion fish can reduce some fish populatios by as much as 90% in just five minutes.
Lionfish need to be hunted to give the ecosystem a chance to balance itself.
And that's where the Guardian LF1 comes in.
The underwater drone was designed by robots in service of the environment to stun lionfish and suck them into a storage chamber so they can be brought to the surface and sold for food.
I know what you're thinking.
Yes lionfish do have poisonous spines.
And yes they do have a pretty fearsome ugly mug, but you can totally eat them.
Lionfish meat is high in protein, and omega 3 fatty acids, and low in cholesterol, and heavy metals.
RSE's goal is to make the LF1 robots economically viable for fishermen, so they can make a living while helping the environment.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is also developing a lionfish hunting robot.
Unlike RSE's remote controlled robot, this robot will be autonomous and untethered, finding and spearing lionfish without human assistance.
These robots could make lionfish more affordable and popular as a food source.
So if you see lionfish on a menu somewhere, give it a try.
You might like it.
And you'll be taking some of the burden off of species that are being over-fished.
Nets aren't just for the ocean anymore.
They're also being used to clean up space junk.
More than 300 kilometers above Earth, the RemoveDEBRIS satellite tested its net capture technology for the first time.
It deployed a shoebox-sized object for target practice, then fired a A net at the space garbage and successfully captured it.
For this test the pieces of space trash will fall to earth on its own and burn up during reentry.
In the future developers say that tether nets could be employed for control of junk removal.
There are millions of pieces of space debris orbiting our planet, posing a significant threat to spacecrafts and satellites.
RemoveDEBRIS still has more technologies to test, including garbage harpoon,
A camera to track and monitor space junk, and an experimental drag sail which will use the Earth's upper atmosphere.
Here to bring the removed debris satellite down to Earth where it will burn up during reentry, and avoid becoming space junk itself.
Our last story for today is a story of triumph over adversity.
Flippy, the burger flipping robot from Miso Robotics was Fired from his job at Caliburger this year because he was throwing off the rhythm of the kitchen.
We are happy inform you that he found a new home at the Chicken and Tots stand in Dodgers Stadium.
Since July 30th, Flippy has cooked up more than 10,000 pounds of chicken tenders and tater tots.
Serving up about 80 baskets of food per hour.
Despite being fast on the fryers, Flippy is only employed on an experimental basis.
The team is gathering data and will likely have more information on Flippy's future with the Dodgers once the season comes to a close.
And fish, thanks for the question Dan.
Most large scale net fishing results in the capture of unwanted fish, and other marine creatures, also known as bicatch which does further damage to marine ecosystems.
The most precise way to catch only lion fish is to catch them one at a time using spears Handheld nets or robots.
The robots can go deeper than you average human diver, hence the push to make them economically viable for fishermen.
That's all for this week, thanks very much for watching.
I'm Jessie Laurel, filling in for Andy Altman, we'll see you next time on What the Future.