The struggle to repopulate Australia’s damaged coral reefs with new growth is too great for manual work alone. Stephen Holmes speaks to the team at Coral Maker about how it is using product development and manufacturing know-how to scale up the fight
Biologists are working to quickly grow hardier specimens that can be propagated and transplanted by robotic arms.
An Australian company looking at a novel approach to restore coral populations has suggested future biodiversity markets could provide the scale needed to save the fast-eroding species where blue carbon markets so far have not.
As a marine biologist, Taryn Foster never expected her career to lead her back home to her family’s masonry factory in Geraldton, 400 kilometres north of Perth, but that is exactly where she has been figuring out how robotics and automation can restore coral reefs.
Historically, coral reef restoration projects have been conducted on a small scale and are generally quite labor-intensive. Coral Maker technology aims to mitigate these operational limitations by using mass production techniques to automate coral propagation.
Coral Maker is adapting technologies from the manufacturing industry and automating repetitive steps in the process.
The natural beauty of undersea corals seems far removed from the factory-like world of automated mass production. But an enterprising reef scientist is combining the two in an effort to regenerate the world’s reefs.
A team of researchers is developing a solution using robotics and manufacturing techniques to help grow a million new corals each year.