Shark, attacked: Tracker robot hunts sharks to understand their behaviour

If you see this strange robot lurking in coastal waters, an actual shark probably isn't far away either.

"When the hunter becomes the hunted" is a phrase you could use to describe a new underwater robot designed to track sharks.

Based on Ocean Server's IVER2, this "sharkbot" by Dr Chris Lowe from CSU Long Beach's Lab for Autonomous and Intelligent Robotics (LAIR) and engineer Chris Clark from Harvey Mudd College helps researchers get close enough to sharks to monitor them without upsetting their typical routine. The robot finds the shark and uses its tracking ability to make sure it's always 300-500 meters behind the animal. The scary hunter of the sea never knows a thing.

In the future, scientists will use the robot to track the likes of great white sharks to learn more about the big fish.  Sharks are natural predators, and while they don't see humans as their typical prey, biologists are keen to learn about shark behavior, and anything else that makes them tick.

[LAIR via Ubergizmo]

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