Innovative Robot that could Save Tigers from Extinction!!
Healthy Tiger Population means Healthy Ecosystem. When animals at top of food-chain decline,It indicates entire ecosystem is in trouble
I am a Computer Engineering graduate (specialized in Robotics) from the University of New South Wales, Australia. Robotics is my passion and I have attained ample amount of experience in it. I have invented new technologies & methods for Robots (Patent under process) and also in the other aspects of technology.
Recently, I got in touch with a few people who take an active interest in wild life and they explained me the situation of the tigers why there is a need for innovation. I was also told that the Forest Department in India is working really hard to conserve the Forests. Their main worry at the moment (and has been for a while) is the wild tigers. The tigers are soon to be extinct.
The Tigers are at the top of the food chain and when they start to decline, it means that whole ecosystem is in trouble.
Tiger -> Deer -> Plants
After a lot of research and an inspiring chat with these people in India, I found it really challenging when they mentioned that there is a need to do the following with an innovation in technology:
·TO OBSERVE THE LIFESTYLE OF THE TIGER
·FIND OUT THE ISSUES FACED BY THE TIGER IN THE FOREST
·SAVE THE TIGERS
They also mentioned that the Forest Department has already experimented technologies such as a Radio collar, Infrared Sensor enabled camera’s that activates when it senses motion. But their trouble is that they have not been able to achieve the desired results. So there’s a need for a better technology to achieve the above mentioned motives to be able to save/help the tigers.
Whilst conversing with them an Idea of creating a robot clicked into my mind that could follow the tiger as a constant companion & is well equipped with high tech cameras, laser scanner/sensors, motion sensor, is solar chargeable and communicates using radio waves (More design details after the following design).
Following the tiger on the ground whilst it’s walking in its normal speed is probably a better idea than a drone. I have created a design & have featured the robot in way, which would allow the robot to be in the forest around the animals with minimal issues. The Computer Aided Models, a cardboard prototype, animated movement of the robot and the required hardware is as follows:
THIS ROBOT IS AN ALL TERRAIN ROBOT, IT IS A SIX LEGGED COCKROACH STYLE (COMMON ROBOTICS TERM)
For this project the required equipment’s in the early stages of this project would be:
- Sensors & Cameras
- Main Computer
- Solar Cells
- Custom Made Batteries 12V 240 Ah
- Robot System Structure
- Other smaller components
The robot will be noise proof and quite invisible. This is how it works:
1) The legs of the robot will have rubber plating (as can be seen in the design images of the robot), so it doesn’t make noise externally.
2) The walls of the robot will have material to suppress the internal noise from the machinery.
Secondly, to make it invisible to the tiger:
1) The robot will have small cameras & a screen on each side, so each screen shows the other side live camera stream making it invisible to the tiger. This is when the robot is stationary
2) The robot will adapt the color of the surrounding ground making it quite invisible whilst it is moving.
There are a lot of recurring costs that would occur during the process of creating this robot due the complexities that we will face inside the forest. One of the complexities on top of my head is to discover and implement some sort of communication to transfer real time data from the robot back to base. The second stage of this project will be adding the ability of flying to the robot.
This project currently is only on paper with basic research completed. So the required funding is to start the initial process of buying the required components (and starting the initial development process & awaiting for the components to arrive) then going ahead and hiring people to work along with me. Then starts the real work of development & building of the robot with testing along the way & research and research in the forest.
Everybody in this game is a player, there is no audience, I will do both research and development involved with this robot but I need everybody to provide their support with the funds, ideas, comments, feedback and technical help.
Risks and Challenges
We have to face one major risk (but its part of this project’s success) that is to go inside the forest to perform research & testing, good thing is that we will have some forest guards along with us. This whole project is a challenge by itself due the environment the robot will be placed into, and the complexities that will shoot towards us every now and then.
We are following a living being that has a mind of it’s own and it can be extremely fast, that’s when it becomes next to impossible to follow when its running.
The major challenges for the robot are not just limited to:
-> Zero network & internet connectivity inside and near the forest areas (Same applies to us)
-> It has to be completely automated which means it has to make its own decisions (by the algorithms coded) inside the forest, whilst it’s following the tiger and recording & transferring the data back to the base.
-> Not only that but it also needs to save itself from other animals and/or danger whilst saving itself from banging into the trees, rocks, etc.
-> It will also need to save itself from the tiger, if the tiger suspects that it’s being followed.
-> Whilst the robot is following the tiger and the tiger starts running, it makes it really hard to follow it due to the limitation in speed caused by a lot of equipments on the robot and lack of low powered fast motors.
-> When the robot’s battery is about to finish (possible in rainy days) or it’s damaged. It will send a message to the base through radio along with its current location. Since we know it has very little battery left and the forest is too huge for it to even know where the base is located & the way to get there. A human intervene will therefore be needed reach to the robot and bring it back for recovery.
Initially we will have to work in the city due to the availability of resources and will make frequent trips to the forest. Once the robot is in an automated walkable state, we will stay in the forest areas more than the city.