Guardian LF1 MARK 4

In light of the ongoing infestations of lionfish in the western Atlantic, RSE deployed its newest robot in 2019: the Guardian LF1, Mark 4 underwater culling robot. Sporting a Visual Recognition System along with sensors, the ROV is operated by fishermen and tourists who maneuver, track and capture lionfish. Capable of operating in deep, rough seas, the ROV can go to depths as low as 700 feet, a mere 100 feet above the lionfishes’ lowest habitat range and well within their critical action and breeding depths of 150-500 feet. Once lionfish are captured, stunning panels send a voltage which temporarily stuns the lionfish until later released to fishermen to sell to consumers. The Guardian’s Optical Flow Visual Algorithm software is ever-evolving through machine learning, which is developed through a mix of ROV and crowdsourced footage of the lionfish in their invaded and natural habitats. In the future, RSE developers hope to improve stability and obstacle avoidance to eventually allow the Guardian robot to become fully autonomous, providing a heightened level of surveillance to remediate affected ocean habitats. While a more efficient option than other methods of invasive species eradication, the use of stunning panels is still considered by some to be ethically objectionable.


Artificial Intelligence, Biodiversity, Ecological Monitoring, Industry/Natural Commodities, Internet of Things, Lifestyle, Monitoring, Visual Technologies