The fish farming industry is known for its safety concerns: frequent accidents on the ground, fish flying out of the pen, and the spread of unwanted gene material among vulnerable wild salmon flocks. A group of engineers found a solution by creating the CageReporter autonomous underwater robot (ROV).
A group of Norwegian researchers from SINTEF and NTNU has created a robot that has already established itself as a reliable “guardian” of fish farms.
Essentially, CageReporter is a low cost underwater 3D visualization and communication system. The robot provides high-quality data collection and the ability to analyze them. The system allows you to monitor the conditions in the enclosure to improve the quality of life and health of the fish and facilitate the inspection of the net.
“These vehicles can collect useful data, making it more accurate and objective than the data that we can collect as humans. Thus, technology gives us incredibly accurate and important information, for example, about fish health and water quality in real-time. This is great news for fish health and animal welfare, ”said researcher and project leader Eleni Kelasidi from SINTEF.
The ROV has now been field-tested at two aquaculture facilities associated with SINTEF ACE. This is where the robot provides fish breeders with sharp, real-time photographs of cages and accurate location data. CageReporter can detect any deformations in the network and even predict future damage to pens.
To make the system autonomous, the engineers had to teach the robot to “move like a fish.” For accurate data, the robot needs to be constantly present in the fish school, which is very easy to scare. However, the development of the big interactive control function has helped the ROV coexist better with fish without disturbing them.