Researchers at the National University of Singapore have come up with a novel and discreet way to monitor water quality, especially in urban areas: robot swans.
The New Smart Water Assessment Network (shortened with the university’s initials to NUSwan) is an ongoing research project that uses small self-driving watercraft to test a number of standard water quality metrics and watch for pollutants and contaminants. The robots are disguised as white swans, which helps them blend into the environment.
Each bird-bot has a GPS receiver for navigation. That allows the bots to methodically move around a body of water and make sure different areas get tested without unnecessarily duplicating data points, while also letting them return on their own to a charging station — all of which minimizes the time researchers need to spend on direct remote control and maintenance. Data can be collected by Wi-Fi whenever the bots come in range of the shore.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.