Robot-fish swarms against climate change

Venus Swarm is a “Bio-inspired” robot technology created by ENEA that emulate animal aggregation and group-intelligence behavior with great potential for application in environmental exploration and to monitor large marine areas underwater. The robot-fish can map the seabed for sensitive data on acidification, salinity, temperature, speed and direction of marine currents, as well as on flooding and coastal erosion.

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Venus Swarm is a “Bio-inspired” robot technology created by ENEA that emulate animal aggregation and group-intelligence behavior with great potential for application in environmental exploration and to monitor large marine areas underwater. The robot-fish can map the seabed for sensitive data on acidification, salinity, temperature, speed and direction of marine currents, as well as on flooding and coastal erosion.

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  • Fabiola Falconieri,
  • Francesco Paradiso
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Data12/04/2016
LinguaEnglish
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Climate change can dramatically impact the very stability and safety of entire communities and nations.

Among the major threats are water acidification and the rise of the ocean level, which is mainly due to the ...

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Climate change can dramatically impact the very stability and safety of entire communities and nations.

Among the major threats are water acidification and the rise of the ocean level, which is mainly due to the combined effect of thermal expansion and glaciers melting.

All over the world, this represents an extreme danger to coastal areas and small islands .

ENEA, the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development, is working on innovative solutions, customized modeling, and new technological approaches to tackle particularly critical situations.

“Bio-inspired” robot swarms, that emulate animal aggregation and group-intelligence behavior, are a cutting edge technology with great potential for application in environmental exploration.

To monitor large marine areas underwater, ENEA has specially developed robot fish, which operate in swarms, exchanging signals via high-performance communication networks. Underwater data interchange is based on an innovative system, currently  patent-pending,  while on the sea surface  the process is integrated with satellite communications.

Each robot fish hosts a set of sensory devices which can be customized to the mission so the swarm can perform simultaneous measurements sampling on distributed areas. Coordinated data acquisition within the swarm yields detailed snapshots of the surrounding environment.

The robot-fish can map the seabed for sensitive data on acidification, salinity, temperature, speed and direction of marine currents, as well as on flooding and coastal erosion.

Finally, the swarm is a powerful and flexible instrument to collect real-time data and process them, providing accurate information to understand the local and global climate situation.

ENEA technology has been presented to the Veneto Region, and  is to be tested by the end of October in the North Adriatic basin and the Venice Lagoon. In such fragile ecosystems, which are among the most threatened coastal areas in Italy, the many-sided applications of fish swarms will be put to good use.

Actually, many tasks could be profitably tackled with ENEA’s robot-fish swarm.

Improved monitoring and control of marine ecosystems, safety and security of coastal tourist resorts, increased understanding of sea life, are just a few examples of the advantages of its application.

The technology can also be used to address pollution, to detect litter and other environmental menaces, to study marine biodiversity, to support fish farming and related activities. this in addition to urban planning, territorial management and coastal area protection. Society is being offered a new fascinating technology, capable of  providing decision makers with reliable and accurate knowledge to help them adopt strategic and effective measures against environmental climate change hazards.

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