Latest Generation of Lionfish-Hunting Robot Can Find and Zap More Fish Than Ever

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

It's always cool to see lionfish while snorkeling or scuba diving. They're spectacular-looking, and because they're covered in flamboyant spines, they're usually secure enough in their invincibility that they'll mostly just sit there and let you get close to them. Lionfish don't make for very good oceanic neighbors, though, and in places where they're an invasive species and have few native predators (like most of the Atlantic coast of the United States), they do their best to eat anything that moves while breeding almost continuously. A single lionfish per reef reduced young juvenile fish populations by 79 percent in only a five-week period. Many species were affected, including cardinalfish, parrotfish, damselfish, and others.

The underwater killer robot that can identify and hunt invasive lionfish to save coral reefs

Daily Mail

Scientists have developed a spear-wielding submersible robot to hunt invasive lionfish in the western Atlantic Ocean. The fish have become a major problem in the waters off the coastal US and Caribbean islands; originally from the South Pacific and Indian oceans, lionfish have no natural predators in the area and are now out-competing native species. Researchers are now hoping an autonomous robot can help solve the problem by weeding out the lionfish and harvesting them without causing further damage to struggling coral reefs. Scientists have developed a spear-wielding submersible robot to hunt invasive lionfish in the western Atlantic Ocean. 'There are economic and environmental benefits to this, and the fish are delicious,' says Brandon Kelly, an undergraduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute who developed the robot's computer vision system.

Spear-toting robot can guard coral reefs against invasive lionfish


Lionfish are threats to not only fragile coral reef ecosystems, but the divers who keep them in check. They not only take advantage of unsuspecting fish populations, but carry poisonous spines that make them challenging to catch. Student researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute may have a solution: robotic guardians. They've crafted an autonomous robot (below) that can hunt lionfish without requiring a tethered operator that could harm the reefs. The bot attaches to an existing submersible robot and relies on computer vision (trained with thousands of photos) to spot examples of the invasive species and jab them with one of its eight spears.

Lionfish-killing robots? Startup's drone would target invasive species


Yuan Wang, co-founder of American Marine Research Company, details the progress his company is making in developing automated drones to identify and catch lionfish. An engineer at American Marine Research Company works on a drone on Thursday, June 29, 2017. The company is designing robots to autonomously detect and collect lionfish. PENSACOLA, Fla. -- There's a potential game changer brewing in the struggle to eradicate lionfish from the Gulf of Mexico. A quartet of engineers is developing drones to autonomously detect and collect lionfish at depths beyond the scope of human divers.

The lionfish zapper hits the open seas

PBS NewsHour

This 3D rendering of a lionfish harvester robot was developed by Robotics in Service of the Environment (RISE). The prototype uses a robot arm with two metal electrodes on the end to electrocute invasive lionfish, which are then collected in a central chamber for use as food. The America's Cup sailing race kicked off this week in Bermuda, but a month ago, a different type of competition was held in the island's lucid waters. It was a contest that pitted chef against chef and robot against beast. Last August, NewsHour broke the story of a robot being developed to stop lionfish, an invasive species that has decimated Atlantic coral reef ecosystems due to their insatiable appetites for other fish.


Daily Mail

Researchers have discovered that the lionfish, a predator with venomous spines, has invaded Caribbean coral reefs and is eating native species. Ember gobies school together in massed of about 100 fish - starkly different behavior from most gobies that hide alone in holes or cracks in the reef, making the new species an easy target for lionfish attacks. Ember gobies school together in massed of about 100 fish - starkly different behavior from most gobies that hide alone in holes or cracks in the reef, making the new species an easy target for lionfish attacks. They've gone on about 150 dives to Caribbean reefs using a 6.5-ton submarine with two robotic arms that stun fish for capturing by spraying them with water or an anesthetic, collecting them using a vacuum hose.

Robots and other high-tech tools battle invasive species

The Japan Times

A helicopter pelts Guam's trees with poison-baited dead mice to fight the voracious brown tree snake. A special boat with giant winglike nets stuns and catches Asian carp in the U.S. Midwest. In the fight against alien animals that invade and overrun native species, the weird and wired wins. "Critters are smart -- they survive," said biologist Rob "Goose" Gosnell, head of U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife services in Guam, where brown tree snakes have gobbled up nearly all the native birds. "Trying to outsmart them is hard to do." Invasive species are plants and animals that thrive in areas where they don't naturally live, usually brought there by humans, either accidentally or intentionally.

In America's Cup waters, a robot takes on an invasion of lionfish New York Times


The America's Cup is a technology race as much as a sailboat race. Make a breakthrough in design -- be it a winged keel or, in this era of hydrofoiling, a better daggerboard -- and your chances of securing the oldest major trophy in sports increase considerably.

It's time to let a robot invasion stop the Lionfish explosion


Undoing man's folly is, sometimes, a robot's work. Unwittingly introduced to the Atlantic Ocean over a quarter of a century ago, the lionfish, which is native to the Pacific, is responsible for an ecological disaster of epic proportions in the Caribbean, Bermuda's, and off the shore of Florida coast, and it's spreading up the coast. A complete lack of predators, voracious appetite and ability to reproduce at an astonishing rate has resulted in a mushrooming lionfish population that is decimating ecosystems, coral reefs and the fishing business. SEE ALSO: A fish that doesn't belong is wreaking havoc on our ocean Catching and eating lionfish, which are delicious, sounds like a reasonable solution, but the fish can't be netted, and are generally fished one person and one spear at a time. If fisherman can't catch lionfish en masse, they can't sell them at quantities to food stores and restaurants.

Terminator Redux: Lionfish Edition Hakai Magazine


Maria and Bob Hickerson saw their first lionfish on a diving trip in Jamaica in 2009. When they spotted it, they hurried over before this unfamiliar specimen could swim away. But instead, the fish seemed to pause. They took photos and told the dive operator about the fish. He asked for details about where they spotted it.