Fires, floods, plague and pestilence. That is 2021 in a nutshell. If Armageddon really is approaching, it is time to leap into action and save the world… and that is exactly what the superheroes of science, robotics and engineering are doing!
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1. Saving Ocean Reefs with 3D Robotic Jellyfish
Global warming is bleaching our ocean reefs. Corals are growing at a reduced rate. What is more alarming is coral reproduction has slowed down dramatically, and individual animals are more susceptible to disease than ever before. In short, coral reefs are failing – and we are to blame.
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Small Actions by Millions of People Make a Difference
Small conscionable actions by millions of people can help save the reefs. Preventing chemical pollutants and pesticides from running off into the oceans is one small step toward reef regeneration. Avoiding direct contact with the reefs altogether, whether diving or boating, is another.
Right at this moment, scientists are grappling with innovative ways of protecting coral, one of which is using satellites to monitor coral health. Now, engineers have come up with an ‘up close and friendly’ monitoring method – and it is inspired by the jellyfish.
The All-New Underwater Monitoring Tool
Say what? How does a fish inspire something as complex as an underwater monitoring device? Well, it is really quite simple. The clever folk out there have 3D rendered a robotic jellyfish. It emulates the graceful movements of the real fish and has a flexible rubber head and eight tentacles.
What is the point of the robot? It is a brand-new tool designed for non-invasive underwater exploration – and that means safe monitoring of our increasingly fragile coral reefs!
Resonance-Based Self Propulsion System
With this innovative monitoring device, it is not only the form the robot takes that is inspired and unique. The natural, energy efficient self-propulsion system is a feat unto itself. It is a bit like the underwater equivalent of our Springbok Casino no deposit bonus codes and quick loading Springbok Casino games. Here is how it works…
Rather than using propellors, which would undoubtedly frighten the fish and possibly damage the reef itself, the robotic jelly fish relies on a smart resonance system to get from A to B. How does resonance propel a faux fish?
A Piston and Powerful Jets of Water Enable Natural Movement
A piston, located at the junction of the head and tentacles, is designed to strike at just the right frequency. When that happens, powerful jets of water are released and the robot is driven forward. Now how is that for thinking out of the box?
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2. Trapping Tyre Wear Waste at the Source
We all know cars are carbon spewing disasters. That is precisely why EVs are growing in popularity. The bad news is fossil fuels aren’t the only environmental catastrophe emanating from vehicles. Tyre wear is causing a microplastics disaster of phenomenal scale – and most of it is ending up in our food, water and the air we breathe!
Every time a vehicle brakes, accelerates or turns a corner, tiny particles of synthetic rubber fly off the tyres. These particles disperse into the environment where they negatively affect countless life-supporting systems.
Millions of Tons of Microplastics Generated Each Year
How pervasive is the problem? In the USA, tyres generate more than 1.8 million tons of microplastics… every year. In Europe, the estimated waste per annum is pegged at half a million tons!
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Plant-Based Synthetic Rubber to Porous Road Surfaces
Scientists and engineers have come up with a host of solutions – synthetic rubbers manufactured from plant derivatives, tyres inset with moss and less abrasive and porous road surfaces designed to reduce wear and capture micro-particles.
Standalone Wheel-Based Microplastics Traps
An even better solution is in the offing. It is a simple device, currently nameless, and still in the prototype stage. How does it work? A standalone unit is attached to each wheel of the vehicle just above the road surface. Each unit consists of electrostatic plates that capture the charged airborne particles as they abrade off the tyre.
A Clever Closed-Loop Solution to Tyre Wear Waste
What happens to the tyre wear after it has been collected in the plates? It is stored in a cartridge, collected, separated and reused to make new tyres. Based on the results of the prototype, the device captures 60% of all airborne particles in what is effectively a closed-loop solution. Plans are afoot to improve on that!
How do the units operate? They are plugged directly into the vehicle’s alternator and move freely with the suspension of the car. Best of all, these low energy microplastics traps can be adapted to fit any make and model of vehicle. Now that is a brilliant concept!
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3. Saving Our Seabirds with the Hookpod
Commercial longline fisheries may be putting food on the table – but they are indirectly responsible for the deaths of around 300,000 seabirds each year. The massacre is caused by baited hooks which obviously attract the attention of petrels, albatrosses, gannets, gulls and cormorants.
Plastic Pod Seals in the Hook and Barb
To prevent this epic environmental disaster, a group of birders and conservationists have come up with a simple, yet ingenious solution – the Hookpod. It is a hard-wearing reusable polycarbonate pod or sheath that effectively encloses the baited hook, rendering it inaccessible to seabirds.
If the seabirds can’t get to the bait, how do the fishermen catch the fish? That is the smart part of the Hookpod…
Auto-Release at a Depth of 20 Metres
When the pod reaches the predetermined depth of 20 metres, it automatically opens and releases the baited hook. What automates the release process? An innovative pressure release mechanism that has been kept very hush-hush.
The good news is at that depth, only deep-sea marine creatures, targeted by the fisheries, have access to the bait. That’s one problem solved, just like that!
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