Underwater innovation: Transforming aquaculture with robotic technologies
Underwater innovation has emerged as a key component in the evolution of aquaculture, transforming how facilities are managed and operated in challenging marine environments. From exploring the depths to continuous monitoring, robotics is playing a vital role in improving the efficiency and sustainability of open-sea aquaculture operations. In this article, we will explore the characterization of robotics used in open-sea farming, along with examples of leading technologies providing robotic solutions for aquaculture.
Characterization of robotics in open-sea farming
1. Submarine drones: Explorers of depths
- Exploration and mapping of extensive underwater areas.
- Monitoring water quality and environmental conditions.
- Inspection of submerged structures and cultivation nets.
- Bluefin Robotics, a General Dynamics company, offers submarine drones capable of detailed mapping tasks and real-time monitoring.
2. Continuous monitoring robots: Guardians of crop health
- Constant monitoring of environmental parameters (temperature, salinity, oxygen).
- Early detection of changes in crop health.
- Supervision of feeding and waste detection.
- The “Echologger” monitoring robot from Echostream Innovation is known for its ability to provide real-time data on crop health and the marine environment.
3. Robotic arms for specific tasks
- Performing specific tasks such as feeding, cleaning, or repairs.
- Precise manipulation in underwater environments.
- Saab Seaeye’s “Cougar-XTi” is a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with robotic arms. This system is used for inspection and maintenance tasks in aquaculture environments, offering precision in executing various underwater operations.
4. Intelligent sensors and imaging technology
- Collection of detailed data on crop health and marine conditions.
- Use of imaging technology to identify behavioral patterns of fish.
- XpertSea uses sensors and imaging technology to gather accurate data on biomass and growth.
5. ROV DTG3 by Deep Trekker
- Underwater exploration and monitoring in aquaculture environments.
- Inspections of facilities and maintenance in deep waters.
- Deep Trekker offers the ROV DTG3, an unmanned underwater vehicle (ROV) ideal for inspection and monitoring in open-sea farms.
Human training in the use of robotic technologies
The successful integration of robotics in aquaculture depends not only on the technology itself but also on the knowledge and skills of those who use it. Training workers in the use and maintenance of these technologies is crucial to maximize their effectiveness and ensure smooth operations.
1. Role of training:
Training plays a crucial role in several aspects:
- Competent operation: Operators must understand the functions and capabilities of robotic technologies to use them competently in aquaculture environments.
- Preventive maintenance: Training in proper maintenance ensures continuous operation and extends the lifespan of equipment.
- Safety: Training in safe practices is essential to prevent accidents and ensure the safety of both operators and the aquaculture environment.
2. Challenges of training:
Despite its importance, training presents challenges, such as:
- Technological complexity: Robotic technologies can be complex, requiring detailed training programs tailored to the skills of the personnel.
- Costs and resources: Effective training can be costly and require significant resources, which can be a barrier for some operations.
- Cultural change: The adoption of new technologies often involves a cultural change in how tasks are performed, which may face resistance.
Benefits and future outlook
Investing in human training not only overcomes challenges but also ensures the full realization of the benefits of robotics in aquaculture. As technology advances, it is crucial that the workforce evolves alongside it, ensuring a sustainable and efficient future for the aquaculture industry.
The future outlook of robotics in aquaculture focuses on continuous improvement in the autonomy and navigation capabilities of robots, as well as integration with artificial intelligence systems for even more sophisticated monitoring and predictive decision-making.
In summary, the robotization of open-sea farming not only represents technological advancement but also a significant step toward a more efficient, sustainable, and adaptable aquaculture industry. With proper human training, the collaboration between humans and robots promises to transform marine food production on an unprecedented scale.
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