Robotics Swans named NUSwan to test the polluted water



On a clean and bright sunny summer day, nothing looks more beautiful than watching some white snowy swans swim through the waters. Due to growing pollution of waters, makes these scenarios pretty ugly. Now there are some robot swans, which have been seen in Pandan Reservoir Singapore. These robots swans are there for testing water pollution level and whether water is safe for contamination or not.

A team of researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS) Environmental Research Institute have developed the flock of swan robots in collaboration with the Tropical Marine Science Institute and the national water agency PUB. These robots have been under development from 2010 by a small team from both the organizations and they have tested it last year for the first time.

These robots have designed in such a way, that they look just like the original swan. The robot is pretty sturdy and durable. Theses robots are strong enough to handle some blow from small boats. They have integrated a very advanced technology to these swans, which can monitor the biological and physical components of the water in real-time. These NUSwans can also monitor the pH level of the water along with identifying any water contamination. They can also monitor the amount of turbidity, oxygen and chlorophyll.

Those NUSwans will swim in the water and these are controlled by programmers and they can even use GPS to test water at specific location. The data from these robots are then sent to the cloud via wireless medium, and then researchers analyze the water in real-time situation. As these robots are equipped with GPS, they don’t recover the ground, which has been already tested until and unless you instruct them to do so. This feature saves both money and time.

Mandar Chitre, Assistant Professor Mandar Chitre and one of the lead researchers told News Asia channel, “It would be expensive to do similar monitoring manually or using AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles). Scientifically, the NUSwan test drives a new paradigm of freshwater monitoring, one that is persistent and interactive, and is potentially able to sample the dynamics of water quality over space and time at improved resolution at an affordable cost.”

The researchers, with the help of researchers from other university are still working on this NUSwan project to enhance its technical components and make it more advanced. Those new technology they are working on includes phosphate sensor for freshwater testing.

These NUSwans will be used to test South China’s water, but this technology can be used in other places also to test the water.