The National University of Singapore released a group of robot swans in the Pandan Reservoir to swim around and keep an eye on water quality. Called NUSwans, they are embedded with advanced water monitoring technology fitted into shells that closely resemble living, breathing birds.

Until now the monitoring of Singapore’s reservoirs has been done by humans in boats, an impractical and slow method. Conversely, the robot swans can swim tirelessly, continually testing pH, dissolved oxygen, turbidity and chlorophyll. Then they transmit the results to the researchers. The cyber swans are equipped with GPS, in this way they sweep the lake without duplicating any already-tested spots and they automatically return to base for recharging when batteries run low.

Why did the researches choose a swan? “We started with a number of smaller bird models, before we decided on the swan. It’s just the right size” said Assistant Professor Mandar Chitre, one of the project’s lead researchers. “If you look at it in the environment, it just looks like a swan swimming around”.

Source: Channel News Asia

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