BOSTON, March 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The non-profit, RSE: Robots in Service of the Environment, today announced the RSE Guardian LF1, Mark 3 prototype, an affordable unmanned undersea robot designed to control the population of invasive lionfish in the Western Atlantic. This next-generation robot, funded in part by RSE's Kickstarter campaign, accelerates the capture of lionfish at the critical action breeding depth below safe diver depth.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, researchers have discovered that a single lionfish residing on a coral reef can reduce native reef fishes by 79 percent. "Researchers working on the lionfish issue have documented severe impacts to our native ecosystems due to lionfish predation. While divers are able to remove lionfish in shallow water habitats, the deeper regions remain lionfish safe havens. RSE's Guardian is working on robotic solutions to reach the deeper waters and remove lionfish that have been previously inaccessible," said Lad Akins, former Executive Director at REEF and Founder of Blue Earth Conservation.
The Guardian LF1 Solution, Mark 3
Intended for use by fisherman, tourists and environmentalists, RSE Guardian LF1 can reach the critical action depth below sport diver depth where lionfish breed. Fully functioning prototypes can stun and collect up to ten lionfish before bringing them to the surface. Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, RSE's engineers and roboticists have been working to create new innovations, research and technology to reduce the invasive impact of damaging lionfish in the Atlantic. RSE conducted several testing missions in Florida, capturing lionfish in vulnerable reef environments in the regions.
"The Lionfish are destroying the coral reef and decimating fish populations in the Atlantic. The latest innovations incorporated into the RSE Guardian LF1, enable the undersea robotic solution to go deeper, fish longer and pull in a larger haul. With each technical milestone we cross we get one step closer to saving our greatest natural resource by empowering fisherman with new tools," said Colin Angle, co-founder and executive chairman of RSE.
Highlights of the Guardian LF1 Mark 3 Include:
- Target Critical Action / Breeding Depth - The Guardian LF1, Mark 3 can now reach depths of 400 feet, well below recreational divers, to hunt the critical action depths where lionfish congregate to breed.
- Enhanced Run Time + Expanded Capture Haul - Improvements have been made to increase the run time on a single battery charge to 60 minutes. Haul capacity has also doubled, enabling consumers the ability to capture more lionfish per a mission and extend missions longer than traditional lionfish hunting means.
- Handling and Ease of Use - A set of fully integrated plug-and-play controls now allowing the ROV to function on most consumer laptops, tablets or phones with a game controller, reducing operation restrictions for RSE's audience of consumers.
- Modular Design - The system modules have been isolated in side tubes so development and improvements can be made independently from the main chassis and systems, reducing build time and speeding up development.
Additional information on the new Guardian LF1, Mark 3 project is available at www.robotsise.org.
RSE Kickstarter Success
After a successful Kickstarter campaign, which saw 179 backers pledge over $29,000, RSE entered an exciting new phase of development taking guidance from initial prototype testing and worked to build an improved version that has been fielded on reefs throughout Florida and the Bahamas. The Kickstarter campaign helped propel RSE's developmental phase resulting in the Guardian LF 1, Mark 3 while simultaneously building a vibrant community of supporters and investors from across the globe that have an interest in the lionfish epidemic that is wreaking havoc throughout the Atlantic Ocean.
About RSE: Robots in Service of the Environment
Founded by roboticists, environmentalists and scientists, Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE) is an all-volunteer non-profit organization focused on developing robot technology to solve environmental problems. Established in the fall of 2015, the non-profit's first project is to develop an undersea robot to slow the destruction caused by the lionfish, an invasive species that is drastically reducing biodiversity and coral reef health in all warm waters of the western Atlantic. By combining technology development with mass manufacturing techniques, RSE offers a unique set of capabilities to solve some of the world's most challenging environmental problems on a massive scale.
Robots in Service of the Environment (RSE)
SOURCE RSE: Robots in Service of the Environment