Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish (Acanthaster planci) are described as one of the most significant threats to the Great Barrier Reef. Since the 1960’s, land-based nutrient runoff has accelerated outbreaks of COTS which are destroying large areas of reef. With few natural predators, traditional control of COTS required manually injecting the starfish in excess of 10 times with a biological agent. In 2014, a new agent was released, which was developed by the James Cook University (JCU) requiring only one injection per starfish. This advancement provided the stimulus for us to revisit automated (robotic) COTS population control and monitoring.
The intention of COTSbot is to provide a proof-of-concept robotic system that consolidates prior and ongoing research into image-based COTS detection, robotic vision, manipulator control, and shallow water Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) design, navigation and control, to directly facilitate COTS reduction. This multi-stage project will validate and demonstrate AUV performance to stakeholders and ensure the system components are a useful and flexible enabling foundation technology for environmental monitoring beyond the problem of COTS control.
Australian Centre for Robotic Vision
2 George Street Brisbane, 4001
+61 7 3138 7549